Earlier this week, Chris Cotillo reported that early interest was coming from the Los Angeles Angels, San Francisco Giants, Chicago White Sox, and Arizona Diamondbacks, while the Padres were "also expected to make a play for Lincecum."
According to Rosenthal on Thursday though, the Padres will no longer be in the running and neither will the Mariners:
What eliminated the Padres and Mariners from the process remains a mystery. By xFIP, the Padres have the 9th-worst pitching staff in all of baseball. Furthermore, if Lincecum was looking specifically for a rotation spot, it seems like the Padres would be one of the best candidates to accommodate that. Though with Tyson Ross healthy, Lincecum would perhaps be relegated to swingman duties. Instead though, the team that has been no-hit by Lincecum twice appears to be completely out of the running to be his future employer.
The Mariners have had substantial success from their pitching staff, so perhaps Jerry Dipoto and the rest of the front office are now looking elsewhere. Their starting rotation has been middle-of-the-pack, but it's been led primarily by Taijuan Walker and Hisashi Iwakuma. Counting on Felix Hernandez to return to form might be the safe bet and reduces a need to acquire depth like Lincecum.
One curious omission from Rosenthal's assessment of the situation are the Diamondbacks. With the 10th-worst pitching staff in all of baseball by xFIP, the Diamondbacks might still be interested in acquiring Lincecum. However, after spending substantial money and assets in hopes of building a premier rotation, Dave Stewart and the rest of the Diamondbacks rotation may be electing to stand pat.
Of the remaining teams in pursuit of Lincecum, the Angels seem to be in the most dire need. After acquiring Jhoulys Chacin from the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday, Billy Eppler and the front office are trying their best to repair a starting rotation decimated by injuries. Lincecum could certainly help continue that progress.
The White Sox remain an option as well, though they appear less desperate. Right now, both Jose Quintana and Chris Sale rank in the top four starting pitchers by FanGraphs WAR. That being said, their fifth-starter spot remains a bit of an enigma after John Danks was designated for assignment. At the moment, Miguel Gonzalez is filling in semi-admirably.
Of course, the Giants remain a top option for Lincecum to 'return home.' By xFIP, the Giants rotation ranks 10th in the majors, buoyed by excellent starts from Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija, and Madison Bumgarner. Unfortunately, Jake Peavy and Matt Cain have been right around replacement level. Conflating issues is that the Giants' bullpen has been uncharacteristically mediocre, ranking 21st in the majors by xFIP.
Whatever Lincecum's decision ends up being, we don't appear particularly close to him signing anywhere by Rosenthal's assessment.