Will the Yankees wait for Nick Johnson to get healthy?

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Nick Johnson has started to work his way back from mid-May wrist surgery, but Brian Costello of the New York Post reports that the oft-injured designated hitter “is still a few weeks away from playing in a game” at extended spring training.
So far Johnson has simply begun hitting off a tee and given his lengthy injury history “a few weeks” could easily turn into a few months, as he’s played in more than 100 games just four times in nine full seasons as a major leaguer.
Signed to replace Johnny Damon in the Yankees’ lineup, Johnson hit just .167 in 24 games before going on the DL, although the low batting average did come with his usual outstanding plate discipline and he got on base at an impressive .388 clip thanks to twice as many walks (24) as hits (12).
Eight different players have started at DH while Johnson has been sidelined. Jorge Posada leads the way with 19 starts and Alex Rodriguez is second with seven, so the Yankees have taken advantage of Johnson’s injury by using the DH spot to rest their other banged-up veterans. However, if he suffers a setback it seems likely that they would be in the market for a big bat before July 31, so the next couple weeks are crucial for Johnson.

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.