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Tigers to attend Tim Lincecum showcase because they’re bored or something

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Odds are he doesn't have anything left.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

For four years, Tim Lincecum was one of the best pitchers in baseball. He logged 881 2/3 innings with a 2.81 ERA and 3.11 strikeout-to-walk ratio for the San Francisco Giants from 2008 to 2011, compiling an outstanding 23.1 fWAR. This includes a pair of 7 WAR seasons, both of which won him Cy Young awards. He earned nicknames like "The Freak" because of his high-octane stuff from a slender, 5'11, 170-pound frame.

But he hasn’t done diddly since.

Now, entering his age 32 season, Lincecum is still a free agent. He will be holding a showcase next week to prove that his offseason hip surgery was a success – presumably returning him to something resembling his prior form, I guess -- and the Tigers will be there, according to ESPN’s Katie Strang.

On one hand, it doesn’t hurt to see what Lincecum has to offer. He was still somewhat effective in 2012 and 2013 before falling off the rails over the past couple years, including a strikeout rate above league average. It’s a longshot, but there might still be something left in that arm, even if he’s limited to bullpen duty.

However, we’re looking at some long odds here. Lincecum originally planned to hold the showcase in mid-January, but the deadline has been pushed back a couple times. His fastball, which once sat in the 92-93 mile per hour range, averaged just over 88 miles per hour last season, according to Brooks Baseball. Opponents have hit .281 with a .446 slugging average off the fastball in the past two years with a line drive rate above 25 percent.

He used to have two plus secondary pitches, his slider and splitter, but has had difficulty getting hitters to swing through both offerings in the past couple seasons. The slider has gotten particularly hittable, resulting in a .252 ISO over the past two years. A wonky hip may have thrown off Lincecum's delivery somewhat, but it's hard to pin all of these difficulties on that injury alone.

There is also the underlying drama between Lincecum and his father, Chris. The two worked in tandem when Tim was at his best, but had a falling out around the time his numbers started to fall off. Tim reconciled with his dad prior to the 2015 season, but didn’t show much improvement. The two are in lockstep once again, but have had difficulty coexisting with pitching coaches in the past.

In an ideal world, the Tigers would sign Lincecum to a minor league deal and hope for the best. However, given that he is "garnering significant interest from teams across the league," it seems unlikely that he would settle for a non-guaranteed contract. As many as 20 teams have requested Lincecum's medical information, many of whom still have openings in their rotation.

So, while the Tigers will be in attendance, don't expect anything to come of it.