Phillies not yet ready to return J.A. Happ to the rotation

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J.A. Happ’s rehab assignment is over after six outings in the minors, yet the Phillies aren’t ready to put him back into their rotation and may option him to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, according to the Philadelphia Daily News.
Happ made just two starts in April before going down with left forearm soreness. He’s pitched 24 1/3 innings since beginning his rehab assignment a month ago, but he has a 6.93 ERA during that span. He’s allowed 33 hits, walked 12 and struck out 17. In his two Triple-A starts, he’s walked eight in 9 1/3 innings.
A decision to send him down would no doubt be partly a result of Kyle Kendrick’s modest success. The right-hander just threw his first career complete game against the Pirates on Sunday and is 5-3 with a 4.70 ERA in 16 starts and one relief appearance this season. The Phillies are 8-3 in his last 11 starts.

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.