The Marlins have signed Shawn Hill to a minor league contract, reports Joe Frisaro of MLB.com. The 29-year-old right-hander will receive an invite to major league spring training and will make $600,000 if he makes the team.
The native Canadian was released by the Blue Jays in November after posting a 2.61 ERA and 14/4 K/BB ratio over four starts as a September call-up. He spent most of last season rehabbing from the second Tommy John surgery of his career, posting a 1.61 ERA and 39/8 K/BB ratio over 11 minor league outings.
Hill has averaged 2.79 BB/9 over 239 major league innings and has a career ground ball rate of 48.9 percent, so there’s some upside here if he’s finally healthy. He’ll function as an insurance policy more than anything else.
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.