Michael Morse diagnosed with bruised elbow after HBP

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Nationals first baseman Mike Morse was forced from a game Thursday at Wrigley Field after getting struck in the left arm by a Ryan Dempster pitch.

Morse doubled over in pain once he reached first base and held his arm carefully against his body as trainers escorted him off the field. It looked as though he might have suffered a fracture of some kind. But all of the early tests have yielded good news.

According to beat writer Bill Ladson of MLB.com, X-rays taken Thursday evening at a Chicago area hospital showed no breaks. Morse has been diagnosed with a left elbow contusion and is being called day-to-day.

Morse, 29, has posted a .319/.369/.554 slash line, 20 home runs and 68 RBI in 106 games this season.

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.