Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 7/18/13
Giants no-hit pitcher Tim Lincecum has a limited no-trade list that does not include the Tigers or Red Sox, two teams expected to seek closers before the trade deadline this month. But several baseball executives still see a trade of Lincecum and simultaneous switch of jobs from starter to reliever as unlikely. "Farfetched,'' one National League executive called the scenario whereby Lincecum is traded to a team that immediately turns him from starter to closer. Lincecum pitched brilliantly in relief in the postseason last year, helping the Giants to a second World Series title in three years by going 1-0 with 17 strikeouts in 13 innings and posting a 0.69 ERA in relief. So it isn't altogether surprising teams may have interest in him as a potential closer. Jon Morosi of Foxsports.com reported the Tigers could be such a team. However, there is really very little precedent for a big-name starting pitcher being acquired and immediately being transformed into a closer. Lincecum's pitching coach Dave Righetti, along with cross-Bay Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley, John Smoltz and a few other big-time pitchers, are major stars who eventually made the switch from starter to reliever. However, those changes didn't come as part of a mid-season trade. It's understandable considering the Tigers' struggles so far at closer with the trade market exceedingly thin for proven closers why they might dream of such a scenario, even with Lincecum making $22 million this year, more than double the 2013 salary of alltime great closer Mariano Rivera. But, as the execs said, it's a long shot, a major long shot, to actually happen.
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