UPDATE: John Fay tweets that Joe Morgan’s job with the Reds will not affect his Sunday Night Baseball job because (a) his job with the Reds will not be in day-to-day operations and (b) the Reds aren’t scheduled to be on Sunday Night Baseball this year.
In other words, because the job is merely ceremonial and because the Reds kind of stink, we get to continue to invite Joe Morgan into our homes every Sunday evening. Glad tidings!
1:15 P.M: No idea if this will impact his ESPN duties in any way, shape or form, but the Cincinnati Reds are holding a press conference at 4:30 today to introduce Joe Morgan as a “Special Advisor for Baseball Operations.”
One would think such a title — unless totally ceremonial — would present some sort of conflict of interest issue for ESPN given that, you know, the guy does opine on other baseball teams for a living. If he’s doing substantive work for the Reds, wouldn’t the media access provided by his credential provide some sort of unfair scouting advantage? How many teams allow other teams’ front office personnel in their clubhouse and talk about injuries and hitting approaches and stuff with them?
But I’m sure we’ll learn more about that at the press conference.
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.