MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan first reported it last night and now Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com is confirming. The Rangers, six games up in the American League West, are going hard after Marlins corner infielder Jorge Cantu in their ongoing search for a quality right-handed bat.
Cantu, 28, isn’t having the best July, but he was an RBI machine earlier this season and he’s tallied a respectable 10 home runs in 358 at-bats. The Marlins appear ready to clear a roster spot for top prospect Logan Morrison, who is batting .304/.423/.471 with five homers and 42 RBI in 227 at-bats for Triple-A New Orleans.
Cantu would serve as a backup to young first baseman Chris Davis in Texas and would also act as a quality late-innings pinch-hitter. As it stands, the Rangers’ bench consists of the light-hitting Joaquin Arias, journeyman Andres Blanco, backup catcher Taylor Teagarden and outfielder David Murphy.
The Rangers have been great this year, but if there is one area that needs improvement it is the bench.
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.