Rick Ankiel says he would consider pitching again. Here are his comments to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
“I keep thinking when I can’t run any more and I still want to be in
the game, maybe I’ll give [pitching] a shot. For now,
I’m an outfielder and that’s how I look at it.”
Stranger things have happened, I suppose. Minnie Minoso got a base hit when he was 50. A high school baseball coach pitched relief for the Devil Rays. Corey Patterson and Gary Matthews Jr. keep finding work. Ankiel could pitch one day I guess. For someone. I just hope that if he really does want to pitch again he doesn’t wait for a time when he “can’t run anymore.” After all, if a pitcher’s legs go, he’s not that useful anymore.
Anyway, what happened to Ankiel the pitcher makes me sad to this day. It’s a fantasy, I know, but I think it would be great to see him throwing junk to some minor leaguers when he’s 40 if such a thing would give him a sense of career satisfaction or closure or whatever.
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.