A third option for the Orioles at first base

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The Orioles have a three-year $21 million offer on the table to Adam LaRoche. For reasons that remain unclear, he has not jumped at it yet.  Realizing that maybe going three-years on LaRoche isn’t the best idea, they have reportedly contacted Derrek Lee, who may be amenable to a one-year deal.  Makes sense.

Know what else makes sense? Buster Olney’s fun idea:

The Orioles have also been talking with Derrek Lee, for a deal somewhere in the range of $8 million. If that feels too pricey, here’s an imperfect and much cheaper alternative — but a combination that could result in good production. The Orioles could consider a platoon of sluggers at first base: Troy Glaus from the right side, and Russell Branyan or Jason Giambi from the left side.

Such a thing could be a potential nightmare for roster management because you’d still need to have someone who can cover first base defensively. And because none of those guys could just slot into the DH position with Luke Scott hanging around. And because, you know, they’re all old and potentially fragile.

But the general idea — don’t get locked into Adam LaRoche and try to be creative — is a worthy one.  How about Vlad Guerrero at DH and Scott at first base like Roch Kubatko suggested yesterday?  There have to be better options than offering LaRoche three years. And having to wait around for him to accept it.

Johnny Cueto expected to opt-out of his deal after the season

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Johnny Cueto signed a six-year $130 million deal with the Giants prior to the 2016 season. In his first season he went 18-5 with a 2.79 ERA and 198 strikeouts in 219.2 innings, helping lead the Giants to the playoffs. This season has been rocky for Cueto — he’s got a a 4.42 ERA in 15 starts and has battled blisters — but they’ve been far rockier for the Giants overall, as they sit in last place in the NL West and have the second worst record in baseball.

Many suspect that the Giants will either rebuild or, at the very least, restructure some in response to this nightmare year. If so, they’re likely going to be doing it with Cueto, who Jon Heyman reports is going to opt-out of his deal:

San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Johnny Cueto is planning to opt out of his contract at the end of the year, but he would listen to any extension offer . . . Cueto has $84 million to go over four years. It would probably take an injury or major slump for Cueto not to opt out. But it makes sense that he will.

Heyman says the Giants are not inclined to give him an extension, so expect to see Cueto on the free agent market three days after the World Series ends, which is the deadline for him to exercise his opt-out rights.

The Dodgers are concerned about Julio Urias’ shoulder

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Things are going great for the Dodgers lately. They’ve won seven consecutive games and 13 of their last 14. They lead the National League in wins and are in first place in, arguably, the best division in baseball.

But there are a lot of moving parts on a baseball team, and even when some things are going great, other things can go not-so-great. Like this:

Urias has been diagnosed with shoulder inflammation and shut down indefinitely. An MRI last week showed no structural damage, but his shoulder is still bothering him. He has not pitched in the bigs since late May, when he allowed seven runs in less than three innings against the Miami Marlins. He was sent down after that and went 3-0 with a 3.12 ERA, six walks and 17 strikeouts in 17.1 innings pitched in three starts with Oklahoma City before being shelved.