Another day, another candidate drops out out the running for the Orioles’ general manager job. Nice to know you can still count on something in this cruel, cruel world.
Earlier this morning we learned that the Orioles planned to ask permission to interview Red Sox vice president of player personnel and pro scouting Allard Baird. Well, Jon Heyman of SI.com reports that while the former Royals’ GM was “tempted by the idea” of joining forces with O’s manager Buck Showalter, he didn’t want to leave new Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington.
Just to bring us up to date, that means the O’s have been turned down by Baird, Jerry Dipoto, Tony LaCava and DeJon Watson.
Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun brings word that former Expos and Red Sox general manager Dan Duquette did interview for the job today, most likely under his own free will, and the Orioles have received permission to speak with Yankees scouting director Damon Oppenheimer. Meanwhile, Phillies assistant general manager Scott Proefrock and Orioles director of player development John Stockstill remain in the mix.
For what it’s worth, Connolly speculates that Duquette must be considered the favorite for the gig based on what the Orioles were originally seeking (a warm and willing body?) in a candidate. Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com hears that the Orioles were hoping to make a decision by Monday, though that seems a little on the quick side now.
The Braves signed left-handed reliever Jacob Lindgren to a one-year deal, according to a team announcement on Sunday.
Lindgren, the Yankees’ top draft pick in 2014, was nicknamed “The Strikeout Factory” after blowing through four levels of New York’s farm system in 2014. He started the 2015 season in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and was called up for his major league debut only two months into the 2015 season. The 22-year-old lasted seven innings with the club before succumbing to bone chips in his elbow, and underwent bone spur surgery in June before trying his luck again during spring training in 2016.
In August, the Yankees shut Lindgren down for the remainder of the season so the lefty could undergo Tommy John surgery. With a projected return date of 2018, Lindgren was non-tendered by the Yankees on Friday.
While the Braves won’t get the benefit of Lindgren’s top prospect skill set in their bullpen anytime soon, he will remain under club control if they keep him on their 40-man roster beyond the 2017 season (per ESPN’s Keith Law).
Free agent closer Mark Melancon is entertaining at least two offers in the four-year, $60+ million ballpark, reports FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal. The teams thought to be in the running are the Giants and Nationals, with the Giants having a slight edge due to their strong interest in him last summer (per ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick).
Crasnick also said that while the Giants are keeping tabs on the top three free agent closers this winter, the other two being Kenley Jansen and Aroldis Chapman, they’re leaning toward Melancon as a (slightly) more affordable option in the ‘pen. It’s worth noting that Melancon would not cost the Giants a draft pick if they decided to sign him.
Melancon had an outstanding season in 2016, nearly reaching career-best numbers with a 1.64 ERA, 2.42 FIP and 5.42 K/BB rate in 71 1/3 innings split between the Pirates and Nationals’ bullpens. The veteran right-hander earned his third career All-Star distinction after stifling opposing hitters with a 1.23 ERA and 7.9 K/9 rate in the first half, and went on to appear in his fourth consecutive playoff run.
Despite the Giants’ apparent lead in the bidding for Melancon, Rosenthal mentioned a third mystery team who might throw their hat in the ring as well. No clubs have been name-dropped as of yet.