Kevin Millwood’s minor-league contract with the Red Sox included a June 20 opt-out clause, but Sam Dykstra of WEEI.com reports that the 35-year-old right-hander decided to remain at Triple-A Pawtucket, where he has a 4.22 ERA and 30/9 K/BB ratio in 32 innings.
Millwood opted out of a minor-league deal with the Yankees in order to sign with the Red Sox in mid-May, which in retrospect looks like a very questionable decision given New York’s need for starting pitching help.
Boston’s rotation has been thinned out by injuries as well, but the Red Sox bypassed Millwood to call up Andrew Miller and Dykstra reports that his fastball has topped out in the high-80s.
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.