According to Jon Heyman (who has apparently become the czar of reporting Tim Lincecum's showcase), the two-time Cy Young Award winner is set to throw in front of teams this Friday. At least 23 organizations have reached out with interest, and if Lincecum can prove that he's healthy, effective, and that he's regained some velocity, he shouldn't have any trouble signing a big league contract.
While there aren't any frontrunners just yet, the Giants' interest in Lincecum has reportedly grown over the last month, as their needs have changed.
"With Tim Lincecum preparing to throw for major league clubs on Friday, Giants manager Bruce Bochy made a big acknowledgement:
The Giants' level of interest in re-signing the beloved two-time Cy Young Award winner is greater now than it might have been a month ago.
'Yeah, that's fair to say,' said Bochy, who foresees a relief role for Lincecum on the Giants staff. 'We know Timmy. The fact is, that's a role he could fit. I don't know his level [of] interest in having a role like that. It doesn't rule out any other role because of injuries.'"
Bochy purposefully didn't say there's a spot in the rotation for Lincecum, as he's "made it clear he is not willing to boot struggling pitchers Jake Peavy or Matt Cain from the rotation after one month." While there may not be an opening right now, both Peavy and Cain will need improve their performances in order for them to remain in the rotation.
Peavy seems to have run into some serious bad luck, as his BABIP is .435, which will undoubtedly come down over his next few starts, however Cain's inability to pitch well isn't as easy to explain away. His BABIP is high, but not unsustainably high; his HR/9 is 1.33, which is still high, but well within what Cain has allowed over the last few seasons; and his velocity has decreased for the second consecutive year.
If Lincecum is dead-set on starting games immediately, then no matter how high the Giants' interest is, there simply isn't a realistic scenario for the two sides to reach an agreement. However if he's willing to work out of the bullpen, and wait for an opening in the rotation, the possibility of heading back to the only organization he's ever known could be too tantalizing to turn down.