We keep hearing reports about teams interested in Prince Fielder. Without putting too fine a point on it, however, those reports often seem to come from people who have been said to have Prince Fielder’s agent as a valued source.
Others, however, specifically Ken Rosenthal, are hearing different things. Specifically with respect to the Rangers, who are one team frequently mentioned as having an interest in Fielder:
The Rangers are more focused on trading for a starting pitcher than signing free-agent first baseman Prince Fielder or even pursuing Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish, according to major league sources.
The team’s payroll flexibility, sources say, is not as significant as many in the industry previously believed. Thus, the Rangers are exploring more cost-effective moves for pitchers such as Cubs right-hander Matt Garza, Athletics lefty Gio Gonzalez and Rays righty Wade Davis.
The key there, Rosenthal says, is that the Rangers big TV deal which often gets cited as the source of new wealth does not kick in until 2015.
Someone is going to sign Prince Fielder. But at the moment that someone doesn’t sound like the Texas Rangers.
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.