On the day Derek Jeter hit his 3000th — and went 5 for 5 overall — there were people who rushed to play the “See! Jeter isn’t done yet!” card. Others, myself included, were skeptical, figuring that anyone with Jeter’s latent skills was capable of having a great day, but it’s not like one great day is a narrative-changer.
Seems the skeptics were right. As Joe Posnanski tweeted a few minutes ago, since that 5 for 5 day Jeter is 5-for-26 with one RBI. All five hits have been singles. Then, a few minutes later, the inimitable Repoz reminded us once again that after Mickey Mantle had that 5 for 5 day in 1968 he went 2-for-24 with 0 RBI. Also all singles. He retired nine months later.
The difference of course was that Mantle, while no longer himself, was still a productive hitter, with the Year of the Pitcher masking his contributions somewhat. Meanwhile, Jeter continues to hit leadoff and, because of his contract, is not going anyplace.
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.