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White Sox rumors: Early interest in Tim Lincecum

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Plus: Left-handed bats could be available to fill the hole Adam LaRoche left, with the money he left behind

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Miguel Gonzalez will get his second start tonight as the White Sox try to find a passable option for the fifth spot, and he'll get his second difficult assignment. After facing the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on April 25, he'll now face the Texas Rangers in Arlington.

If Gonzalez can survive this start, he'd next be on schedule for a start in Yankee Stadium, which hasn't been kind to him either. Gonzalez can buy himself some credibility with a good turn or two, but the chips are stacked against him, and chances are the situation will remain as fluid as Tim Lincecum's delivery isn't.

The White Sox were among 20something teams in the audience for Lincecum's showcase, and Jon Heyman says they're among three teams showing "keen early interest" in the former Cy Young winner, according to Jon Heyman.

The ‪#‎WhiteSox‬, ‪#‎Angels‬ and ‪#‎Diamondbacks‬ are among teams known to have joined the San Francisco Giants with early interest in star free agent pitcher Tim Lincecum, who conducted the world's most-watched showcase by wearer of cargo shorts Friday.

Assuming Lincecum is up to the task -- and he only threw 41 pitches in his showcase, even if they were sharp -- the White Sox can meet one of his preferences (they'd use him as a starting pitcher). That would supposedly eliminate the Giants from the conversation, as Heyman says they're more interested in him out of the bullpen. The Sox also have postseason odds on their side.

The Sox don't have nearly as much control over the rest of the elements. If Lincecum wants as much rope as possible in an attempt to build a market for next year, a team like the Angels could afford him far more opportunity to get up to speed now that Garrett Richards and Andrew Heaney are out (to give you some idea, John Danks makes some sense to them).

And if Lincecum wants to stay in the west, all the Sox can do is say the Louisiana Purchase isn't Real America.

Either way, I still don't have particularly high expectations for Lincecum, since he's trying to join a rotation on the fly with the velocity that made him a Danks-ish type pitcher with San Francisco. But if it's a minor-league/incentive-based deal he seeks, the Sox have incentives to keep adding to the options behind Gonzalez.

Star-divide

The Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo -- who is kinda like Boston Phil Rogers -- came up with a list of left-handed hitters who could theoretically fit with the White Sox, although it's more of an exercise than scuttlebutt.

Jay Bruce has been rumored to be on the trading block, but the Reds haven’t received the right package yet. The White Sox have the money ($13 million saved from Adam LaRoche) to make it happen, and need a lefthanded bat. Other players the White Sox could target include Brett Gardner, Carlos Gonzalez, Seth Smith, and Nick Markakis. Count the Angels in on those bats as well.

He later included Josh Reddick if the A's are selling.

While Bruce meets the supposed physical requirement with left-handed power, his flaws are even more pronounced this season. He's hitting .234/.284/.467 with an elevated strikeout rate and decreased walk rate, and that's with some BABIP bounceback and increased isolated power. His defense wouldn't crack the White Sox' outfield rotation either, which is why he's a below-replacement-level proposition right now, and he hasn't played in the American League yet, either. And that's all for the price of the remainder of his $12.5 million contract, so I imagine this is all why the Reds haven't been blown away by offers.

The other guys? They represent various forms of upgrades from acceptable to exciting, with the prices to be determined.