MLB rumors: Rangers release Tim Lincecum; why the Yankees should stay far away from former Cy Young winner

The Tim Lincecum comeback tour hit a pothole Tuesday, when he was released by the Texas Rangers.

The two-time Cy Young Award winner signed with Texas in February.

And plenty of teams are looking for starting pitching, including the Yankees, who just lost Jordan Montgomery to Tommy John surgery.

But here’s why the Yankees should pass on Lincecum. According to NBC Sports’ Hardball Talk, Lincecum made 10 relief appearances for Triple-A Round Rock prior to his release.

He gave up 12 runs (eight of which were earned) on 14 hits and nine walks in 12.2 innings of work. That’s a 5.68 ERA. In Triple-A.

Although if a team is desperate enough, it could focus on the fact that Lincecum did strike out 10 batters during those appearances.

With Archer on the disabled list (and struggling before a groin injury), Hamels’ peripheral stats screaming regression and Fulmer’s poor season, the starting pitching market is far from great right now.

That could lead the Yankees down a more appealing way to improve: Add a really dominant arm in the form of a reliever, shortening the game even more for every starter outside of Severino.

Hand, 28, entered play on June 5 with a 2.15 ERA across 27 appearances this season for the Padres. That ERA has been achieved through strikeout dominance (13.8 per nine innings), making the southpaw a natural fit for a Yankees bullpen that specializes in mowing down opponents with swings and misses.

Hand’s 2018 success isn’t a fluke or out-of-nowhere performance. Since the start of 2016, Hand owns a 2.50 ERA and struck out 11.8 batters per nine innings. We’re talking about one of baseball’s best relievers.

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