Wily Mo Pena hasn’t seen any major league action since 2008, but he has been absolutely destroying baseballs at AAA for the past two years, so it was only a matter of time before someone gave him a shot. The Diamondbacks are giving him that shot, having just purchased his contract from AAA Reno, reports Jack Magruder of Fox Sports Arizona. The plan is to use him as a DH when the Dbacks hit the American League parks starting tonight.
Pena has an insane line of .363/.439/.726 with 21 homers in 63 games in Reno. While over half of his games have been at DH, he has played some first base and outfield too, so it’s not out of the question that Kirk Gibson could try to find a place for him in the event he keeps raking in the majors.
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.