Chase Utley could begin jogging “in the next couple days”

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General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. provided an update on the status of Chase Utley’s knee injury, telling Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com that the second baseman could be cleared to begin jogging “in the next couple of days.”

According to Amaro his return “could happen fast” once Utley is running without problems, but so far he’s mostly been limited to working out in a pool and the GM admitted that “it might take a while for him to get there.”

There’s still no timetable for Utley’s return and he’ll need a minor-league rehab assignment before coming off the disabled list whenever it happens, so rejoining the Phillies’ lineup at some point in May seems like the best-case scenario right now. Or as Amaro put it: “We’re willing to be very patient with him. I want him for July, August, September, hopefully October.”

Report: Orioles interested in Lance Lynn

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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.