Sad news out of Iowa tonight.
Keith Murphy of WHO in Des Moines passes along word that Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Feller has died at the age of 92 in a Cleveland hospice.
Feller was hospitalized with pneumonia a few weeks ago and previously fought a battle against leukemia.
Born November 3, 1918 in the small farming town of Van Meter, Iowa, he went on to win 266 games over 18 big league seasons — all with the Indians. He retired after 1956 with a sparkling 3.25 career ERA and 2,581 strikeouts.
Feller struck out 348 batters and turned in a 2.18 ERA over 371.1 innings in 1946, his finest season.
But it was in 1941 that he made his biggest splash.
After Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, Feller became the first Major League Baseball player to enlist in the armed forces, joining the NAVY and serving as a gun captain on the USS Alabama during what might have been the prime of his baseball career. He served four years and was decorated with five campaign ribbons and eight stars throughout his military service.
Feller was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.
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.