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The search for Tim Lincecum

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If Tim Lincecum was playing a weird game of hide-and-seek, the Royals would have won.

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As of today, most of the major free agents have been signed, yet there are still a few players left on the market; perhaps most notably, Tim Lincecum. Despite his struggles over the last four seasons, there is a significant amount of interest in the right-hander.

The Padres are reportedly "very active" in their pursuit of the two-time Cy Young award winner; the Marlins "would have interest if he's willing to pitch out of [the] bullpen; and as many as 20 teams have requested medical information on the former-flame thrower.

According to Chris Lincecum (Tim's father), his son "has received multiple offers from teams 'sight unseen,' and the two-time Cy Young Award winner is close to being ready."

"While the showcase is the item of interest for outsiders, Tim's focus during rehab has been on a bigger goal.

'We're not preparing for a showcase, we're preparing for a season and his career. The showcase is just a piece of it. Once that's over, he can go somewhere.'"

Given that he has yet to throw in front of anyone, it's impossible to know how well Lincecum is doing. His father has said that his velocity is "quite acceptable and increasing each time I see it," but he's fairly biased, and might not be giving the most accurate account of their sessions. Thus far, most teams have been idly waiting for Lincecum's showcase, however the Royals were a little more aggressive.

This will likely be one of the best stories to come out of spring training this year. Not only is Lincecum throwing at a secret location somewhere in Arizona, but also that the Royals' advanced scouts (they should probably get a raise now) managed to find him, and tried to crash his throwing session. That obviously didn't work, and they were immediately asked to leave.

Jon Heyman reported that Lincecum might still be more than a week away from throwing for teams, which would likely mean he couldn't be on an opening day roster. However that wouldn't appear to matter to Lincecum, who's "preparing for a season and his career", not just for the immediate future. It's hard, if not impossible to imagine Lincecum finding the previous form that made him one of the most dominant pitchers in recent memory; but boy would it be great to see Big Time Timmy Jim back on the mound.