Whether it becomes a reality or not, the reported interest of the team in a 33-year-old former Cy Young winner is a signal the Mets are slowly but surely waking up from the ho-hum woe is me characteristic that has been following the team.
Writing for FanRagSports.com, Jon Heyman reports that the New York Mets are interested in taking a look at “The Freak” when Tim Lincecum puts himself on exhibition next week with a throwing session open to all teams.
Talk about a long shot? Talk about the Mets hoping to catch lightning in a bottle? You bet, and it’s about time the organization led by Sandy Alderson walked the plank a time or two to improve the team. Besides, much like the signing of Adrian Gonzalez, where is the downside to bringing Lincecum into the fold for an extended look at Triple-A Las Vegas?
An even better idea, though, is to have Lincecum closer to the Mets and especially, Mickey Callaway, as a reclamation project for the former pitching coach to dig into. Quick trips from Class A Staten Island or AA Binghamton to Citi Field by Lincecum for work with Callaway and the process gets speeded along, up or down.
The Mets are known to be in the market for a veteran starter at the back end of their rotation. Alex Cobb and Lance Lynn could be out of reach payroll-wise, but the Mets like most teams now are playing the waiting game to see if the price comes down.
A level below those two are names like Jason Vargas, Jaime Garcia, and Andrew Cashner, none of whom are destined to create much excitement, but they are capable of providing innings, which is the primary goal the Mets are reaching for.
The Mets (rightly) have no idea what they are going to get from Zack Wheeler and Steven Matz. Both have been plagued with injuries and always seem to be “on their way back” from this or that. The one-two punch of Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard is enough for the team to have a good chance of taking a three-game series against all competition. But, is that enough to allow the team to stand still?
It used to be when the team seemed always to take a “let’s hope for the best with what we have” And it may turn out to still be that way. But if Alderson decides to send a scout or two to Lincecum’s workout, that’s at least a signal the team is engaging in creative thinking and acting on the ideas that come up.
Adding Cobb or Lynn would comprise a major move financially for the team that is closing in the $150 million payroll mark for 2018. Still, if they play their cards right by keeping David Wright off the field, they get a significant rebate in insurance money on Wright’s contract.
As soon as this week, look for a smoke signal rising from the Mets camp announcing that Wright is being placed on the 60-day disabled list. If we see that, then we’ll know the team is thinking in the direction of spending more to win more…