Scott Feldman has become sort of a forgotten man in Texas and missing part of the regular season and the Rangers’ entire playoff run with a knee injury and beginning this year on the disabled list.
However, he was their Opening Day starter last season after going 17-8 with a 4.08 ERA in 2009 and T.R. Sullivan reports that Feldman threw four scoreless innings in an extended spring training game yesterday and “could be getting close” to a minor-league rehab assignment.
Feldman didn’t pitch nearly as well as his 17 wins in 2009 would suggest, but he’s a 28-year-old pitcher with a 4.73 ERA in 78 career starts and the Rangers could definitely use another mid-rotation starter to eat some innings. Not to mention the fact that they’re paying him $4.4 million this season and owe Feldman another $6.5 million in 2012.
Brandon Webb is nowhere near joining the Rangers’ rotation, but Feldman, Neftali Feliz, and Tommy Hunter are all on the comeback trail.
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.