Yankees decline 2012 option on reliever Damaso Marte

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Damaso Marte missed all of this season following shoulder surgery last October and today the Yankees officially declined his $4 million option for 2012, buying the left-handed reliever out for $250,000 instead.

Marte was consistently one of the best southpaw setup men in baseball prior to joining the Yankees in a mid-2008 trade with the Pirates, posting a 3.18 ERA in 464 innings while striking out 505 and holding opponents to a .225 batting average.

Because of injuries Marte has thrown just 49 innings in three-and-a-half seasons in New York, posting a 6.02 ERA while providing essentially zero value during a three-year, $12 million contract. At age 36 he’ll likely have to settle for a minor-league deal this winter.

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.