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Two-time Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum is closing in on a deal with the Los Angeles Angels, multiple sources told Yahoo Sports. While the terms of the contract have yet to be finalized, the expectation is it will be a one-year major league deal.
Lincecum, 31, is returning from hip surgery and expected to need a few starts in the minor leagues before he joins the Angels’ injury-plagued rotation. Other teams interested included the San Francisco Giants, with whom Lincecum had spent his nine-year career and won three World Series rings, and the Chicago White Sox.
The Angels emerged as the most involved in recent days, hoping to reverse what thus far has been a disappointing season, with Lincecum helping to stabilize their rotation. He impressed scouts and executives in a recent showcase, hitting 92 mph with his fastball and spinning good curveballs and changeups.
It was the healthiest Lincecum has felt in years. The hip surgery sapped him of the freakish athleticism that was the hallmark of his finest years with the Giants.
“Some days my hip would bite at me. Some days it would be fine,” Lincecum told Yahoo Sports two weeks ago. “But I didn’t have a lot of stability and strength in it. I wasn’t able to sustain the end of my motion, when my foot hit. It felt very erratic, very wild. It didn’t feel like much of a drive. It felt like I was jumping. That’s where I lost it all. The power was lost in my legs, and it didn’t drive through my hips, my mid-back and up into my shoulder. I was throwing a lot with my arm.”
Before last season, Lincecum had been a paragon of durability, booking consistent 200-inning seasons and three times leading the National League in strikeouts. His back-to-back Cy Young Awards in 2008 and 2009 set the stage for the Giants’ emergence as an NL powerhouse.