Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said yesterday that he hadn’t talked to Roy Oswalt’s agents in a week, but a short time later Jon Morosi of FOXSports.com reported that the two sides were “still in talks.”
Jocketty apparently read that and various other rumors linking the Reds to Oswalt, and he’s fed up with the whole thing. Here’s what he told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer:
It’s all rumors. I’m sick and tired of it. We’ve had no serious talks. We’ve had no contact with the player.
You may recall that earlier this offseason Jocketty said the Reds’ lack of significant moves were “very frustrating” only to pull off a big trade with the Padres for Mat Latos and another sizable deal with the Cubs for Sean Marshall.
And for whatever reason no teams seem willing to admit that they’re negotiating with Oswalt. Except for maybe the Pirates, and he turned them down instantly.
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.