It's been one of the biggest stories at FanFest every year: What does Tim Lincecum look like?
Lincecum is one of the most popular players in Giants history, and his haircuts became newsworthy over time. Sometimes he would add glasses. Sometimes he looked like he had just come off a European shopping spree, other times he had the look of a 20-something who skated to the ballpark.
Yes, there was something missing when the Giants got together for their annual media day on Friday, but Lincecum was still a topic of discussion. Multiple players and coaches wished him well and said they’re keeping tabs on him, and Bruce Bochy said he recently exchanged texts with his longtime star.
“He’s doing well,” Bochy said.
The Giants will be present at Lincecum’s showcase, whenever that takes place at a to-be-determined location in Arizona. Lincecum had intended to throw for scouts and executives in January, but his showcase has repeatedly been pushed back. Per people familiar with his progress, Lincecum is said to be doing well health-wise as he recovers from September hip surgery, but his agents have made it clear all along that Lincecum won’t throw for teams until he’s 100 percent. He has been rehabbing in Arizona since the end of the season.
Lincecum’s side also has made it clear that he wants to remain a starter, and the Giants believe that will be the major factor in preventing a reunion.
“We’ve been monitoring him all along,” vice president of baseball operations Brian Sabean said. “He’s probably searching for a starting position with another organization. That’s probably his priority right now, and we don’t have (a starting spot). Our interest would be more as a bullpen piece.”
The Giants signed Jeff Samardzija and Johnny Cueto to fill out their rotation. Even if Lincecum returned, he would do so as a seventh starter, ranking behind Chris Heston, who likely will be the long reliever if the rest of the starters are healthy. It's easy math for both sides, and Lincecum is expected to find a better opportunity elsewhere.
Lincecum had hoped to be ready when pitchers and catchers report to camps next week, but he doesn’t appear to be to that point yet. That could ultimately open the door for the Giants, who know him best and could provide a soft landing spot if Lincecum is still rehabbing when the season starts, or if he needs to rebuild his strength in the minors. On Friday, Bochy wouldn’t close the door on Lincecum returning to the Giants at some point.
“Who knows … (him leaving) is not a done deal,” Bochy said. “We’re going to take a look at him.”
Alex Pavlovic is CSNBayArea.com's Giants Insider. Follow him on Twitter @AlexPavlovic.