Tim Lincecum has enjoyed a big league career that nearly every player would dream of. He won back-to-back National League Cy Young Awards in his second and third seasons of 2008-09. He was named to four straight All-Star Games from 2008-11. He has three World Series rings from when the Giants owned even years in 2010, 2012, and 2014.

The Freak” is one of just 30 pitchers, in MLB history, to have multiple no-hitters to his name. He led the National League in strikeouts, three straight years, from 2008-10.

So it’s safe to say that the resume, for the majority of big leaguers, pales in comparison to Lincecum’s.

While this is true, it has been years since he has experienced sustained success.

Struggles of Timmy

Since his last All-Star season of 2011, Lincecum has yet to post an ERA under 4.13. From 2012-15, he went 39-42 with a 4.68 ERA and 1.40 WHIP in 113 games (106 starts). He struck out 8.4 hitters per nine innings and walked 3.9.

Those numbers are a far cry from those he posted in his four All-Star seasons from 2008-11. In those seasons, he had a 62-36 record with a 2.81 ERA and 1.17 WHIP. He compiled 10.0 strikeouts per nine innings and 3.2 walks.

While he experienced a steep decline from 2012-15, the 2016 season was the year that Lincecum fell off a cliff. He made nine starts that year, for the Los Angeles Angels, and was rocked to the tune of a 2-6 record, 9.16 ERA, and a 2.37 WHIP.

He looked good in his first start against the Athletics that year getting the win while going six innings and giving up just one run. How awful was he over his next eight starts? In 32.1 innings, he gave up 38 earned runs, 64 hits, 21 walks, and 11 home runs.

In his last start of 2016, on August 5, he went only 3.1 innings while giving up six runs.

He was designated for assignment the very next day and hasn’t pitched at the major or minor league level since.

What can the Rangers expect?

After his awful 2016 season and then taking the following year off, it was a bit surprising to see Lincecum earn a guaranteed major league deal from the Texas Rangers on Tuesday.

It looks as if the 33-year-old has put some muscle onto a slender frame that saw him pitch at a weight of 170 for much of his career.

Texas has acquired a bunch of arms in Lincecum, Bartolo Colon (minor league deal), Matt Moore (via trade), Doug Fister, and Mike Minor who can battle it out for the last one or two spots in the rotation.

There is also a good likelihood that the Rangers will put Lincecum in, as relief, to try to help bolster their bullpen. Texas finished 28th in the majors last year with their relievers owning a 4.76 ERA, and there are no clear-cut options as to who will close this season.

Expecting Lincecum to relive his previous glory definitely seems far-fetched. For him to become a serviceable end of the rotation starter or a somewhat dependable arm out of the bullpen seems like the best-case scenario.

If he has another poor year, expect it to be his last one pitching in the majors.