Mike Cameron close to rejoining Red Sox

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Mike Cameron has played three games at Triple-A while rehabbing his strained abdominal muscle, going 2-for-8 with a double and three walks.
Terry Francona initially indicated the Red Sox planned to have Cameron spend 4-5 games in the minors before coming off the disabled list, so barring a setback over the weekend he’s very close to returning. Cameron has said he’s eying the series against the Yankees for his return and that begins Monday night in New York.
Darnell McDonald and John Van Every have split time in center field with Cameron (and Jacoby Ellsbury) out, but despite a very strong first impression from McDonald the pair of minor-league veterans have combined to go just 19-for-83 (.229) with 25 strikeouts.
Cameron is on the verge of returning, but Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe reported yesterday that Ellsbury still has “no timetable” for a rehab assignment of his own.

Report: Orioles interested in Lance Lynn

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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.