Despite monster debut, J.P. Arencibia sent back to minors

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J.P. Arencibia had one of the best debuts in baseball history on August 7, going 4-for-5 with two homers after being called up from Triple-A to replace the injured John Buck.
Arencibia is one of the best catching prospects in baseball and the 24-year-old former first-round pick is definitely Toronto’s catcher of the future, but with Buck returning from the disabled list the Blue Jays optioned him back to Triple-A last night.
Since his monster debut Arencibia went just 1-for-15 while starting only four times in 10 games, so clearly the Blue Jays were never planning to simply hand him the job.
Instead he’ll head back to the minors until returning to Toronto when rosters expand on September 1 and then likely take over behind the plate for good when Buck departs as a free agent this offseason.

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.