UPDATE: The deal has now been announced by the team.
Thursday, 8:02 P.M.: A source is telling me that the Phillies and Shane Victorino have reached a deal on a three-year, $22 million contract. The team could announce it as early as tomorrow. Jim Salisbury had reported earlier this week that Victorino and the team were discussing a multi-year deal.
Victorino — a Gold Glover who hit .292/.358/.445 last year — made $3.125 million in 2009. Earlier this week he filed an arbitration request of $5.8 million, while the team offered $4.75 million.
If today’s Joe Blanton deal is any guide, the deal may very well be backloaded somewhat, thereby making his 2010 salary something closer to the figures that were exchanged. And of course, this deal would buy out one of his free agent years, so a bit of a bump above the arbitration figures is in order.
Assuming this done, that leaves Carlos Ruiz as the only remaining arbitration-eligible Phillie.
The Orioles singlehandedly kept the rumor mill churning this weekend. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the club is interested in making a play for free agent right-hander Lance Lynn, adding him to a list of potential candidates that also includes free agent righty Alex Cobb. The two are expected to command similar contracts in free agency, but Morosi notes that the Orioles may prefer Cobb based on his familiarity with the AL East.
Lynn, 30, is two years removed from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Despite missing the 2016 season, he bounced back with a respectable 11-8 record in 33 starts and complemented his efforts with a 3.43 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 over 186 1/3 innings for the 2017 Cardinals. He lost several days with a blister on his pitching hand in early September, but managed to avoid any major injuries and can reasonably be expected to shoulder another heavy workload in 2018.
Lynn may not be the Orioles’ first choice to beef up their starting rotation, but there’s no doubt that he’ll be in high demand as one of very few viable starters on the market this winter. The veteran righty rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals on Thursday and will likely be seeking a multi-year contract, one that Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch estimates around five years and $100+ million. If the Orioles are willing to bite that bullet, they’ll still need to compensate the Cardinals with their third pick in next year’s draft.