Jerome Williams’ comeback was complete when he returned to the majors and got people to call him the right name, but now he’s getting a big-league contract too.
Rather than potentially non-tender Williams the Angels have signed him to a one-year deal worth $820,000 upfront and another $120,000 in possible incentives, avoiding arbitration with the 30-year-old right-hander.
Williams went 4-0 with a 3.68 ERA in 44 innings down the stretch for the Angels in his first MLB action since way back in 2007, but his K/BB ratio was an underwhelming 28/15 and he served up six homers. He’ll compete for the fifth-starter job in an otherwise stacked rotation.
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.