Jamie Moyer is undergoing elbow surgery with an eye toward returning in 2012 at age 49, but Tim Wakefield isn’t planning to stick around that long.
He’ll be back with the Red Sox in 2011 after going 4-10 with a 5.40 ERA this year, but the 44-year-old knuckleballer told Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe that “this probably will be my last year”:
There are still some numbers I want to achieve, but I’m not going to put that much pressure on myself knowing that this probably will be my last year. I’m not going to come out and say I’m going to retire at the end of the 2011 season. But getting closer to the end, I’d really like to enjoy it more than I did last year.
When he says “there are still some numbers I want to achieve” Wakefield is likely talking about the fact that he’s 13 wins away from tying Cy Young and Roger Clemens for the most victories in Red Sox history, but he hasn’t won 13 games in a season since 2007.
Wakefield was unhappy with a spot starter/long reliever role this year, but seems resigned to the fact that he won’t be back in the Red Sox’s rotation barring a rash of injuries, saying: “I’m looking forward to coming in and contributing in whatever manner I can.”
Asked about Moyer’s plans for a post-surgery comeback, Wakefield replied: “Good for him. I don’t why, but good for him.”
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.