Coco Crisp will begin the season on the disabled list after he suffered a fractured left pinky finger during Friday’s game against the Giants, according to CSN California, by way of Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.
He injured the finger while sliding into second base. It’s not yet known how long he’ll be out of action, though Slusser estimates that it could be for as little as 10 days.
Crisp, who was signed to a one-year, $5.25 million contract last December, is already recovering from surgery on both of his shoulders, but was also bothered by a strained left hamstring during camp. The 30-year-old outfielder batted .228/.336/.378 with three home runs, 14 RBI, 13 stolen bases and 30 runs scored in 49 games with the Royals last season.
Slusser believes that Travis Buck is the most likely replacement for Crisp on the roster, providing the Athletics with an extra outfielder. That’s might be a pretty good idea, because as currently constructed, Jack Cust is the current fourth outfielder on the squad. And as we all know, UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating) and Cust don’t get along too well. Landon Powell and Adam Rosales, who was acquired from the Reds over the winter, are also possibilities to make the team.
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.