As a good and proper fanboy, I felt obligated to swing by Fredi Gonzalez’s managerial availability a few minutes ago. Of note:
- He likes the team. Said “we have a lot of good players.” Whew! I can’t imagine the awkwardness that would go down if he said all the players sucked;
- He is obviously happy to be in Atlanta and out of Miami. He said that he’s been recognized out around town in Atlanta by fans more in the couple if months since he’s been hired than he was recognized as the Marlins guy during his entire tenure in Miami.
- He was asked about what the team might be doing between now and spring training. Short answer: not a ton. More on the bullpen obviously. Backup outfield too. That’s about it. To that end he said that the team has discussed bringing Andruw Jones back as a fourth or fifth outfielder. Others say that’s not terribly likely, however.
Interesting stuff listening to the manager whose team you root for in that setting. The urge to plead with him not to do a bunch of things you fear he’ll do this season is really, really strong. Thank God I’m a pro.
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.