Former Giants ace Tim Lincecum reportedly will sign with Texas Rangers

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Tim Lincecum might be making his decision on who he'll play for in 2018 soon.  USATSI

After not playing at all in 2017, former Giants ace Tim Lincecum is primed for a comeback. The two-time Cy Young winner has taken his time selecting his next team, but shortly after FanRag Sports reported that Lincecum has narrowed his list down to a few suitors, a Yahoo Sports report emerged that he is "deep in talks" with the Texas Rangers. Now, it appears that he's made his decision, and the Giants will be spared losing another franchise favorite to the Dodgers, as FanRag has reported that Lincecum will sign with the Rangers.

With Lincecum flying to Arizona, the assumption was that he'd be signing with someone from Arizona's Cactus League. The Dodgers and Rangers were the clear front-runners, with few other teams making sense.

With the Cubs adding Yu Darvish, they were an unlikely candidate. The Indians were as well after retaining most of their all-star rotation from last season. Lincecum did work out in Seattle, but the only way he'd go there would be if Seattle felt that desperate to have warm bodies on its staff -- which might not have been a bad option.

The Rangers are in pretty dire straits as far as pitching goes, and there's literally no inkling of who will be closing games for them this year. The biggest draw is that they'll give Lincecum a shot, and if his audition from the closing role goes well we could see something done with him midseason (or even after the season, if a team wants to take a flier on him). Lincecum would go to the Rangers to audition. He'd go to the Dodgers to compete -- even from within the team.

Lincecum's last in-game action was in 2016 with the Angels, in which he posted a 9.16 ERA over 38 1/3 innings in nine games. Any team seeking his services will undoubtedly hope for better, after he went 2-6 over nine starts.

Perhaps Lincecum's efforts to come back will pay off, but the Rangers aren't exactly breaking the bank for him. It's a safe move from a franchise that needs safe moves, so look for him to start in some kind of set-up role, taking more closing situations over time.

Lincecum's career ERA is 3.74, and he has a career record of 110-89. Although his days of 260-plus strikeouts are behind him, if he can come back as an effective two-pitch pitcher he might be able to bolster a team's rotation.

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