Veteran infielder Cesar Izturis played in only 18 games and made just 33 plate appearances for the Orioles in 2011 due to groin and elbow issues. He batted .230/.277/.268 in 2010, and hasn’t registered an OPS above .700 since the 2004 season.
But Major League Baseball can’t quit him.
According to beat writer Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun, Izturis’ agent said Wednesday that his 31-year-old defense-oriented client has already drawn interest from “several” big league front offices.
No specific teams were named, and it’s quite possible Connolly was being fed agent-speak, but if there is indeed that much attention being paid to Iztruris, it’s likely that he’ll find a major league deal.
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.