Danny Valencia is in The Best Shape of His Life

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From La Velle Neal of the Star-Tribune, reporting from Fort Myers this morning:

I headed over to the other side of the clubhouse, where Danny Valencia dresses. Get your urban dictionaries out, because Valencia wants everyone to know he’s “yoked,” this year.

He weighs about the same as he did last season but says it’s the best he’s ever felt.

“It’s night and day how I feel,” he said.“I really made a serious, conscious effort to get my body right. I feel like I can move and feel strong at the same time. “I  worked really hard,” he said, “ but I feel great., I’m a lot stronger than I’ve ever been. I’m faster than I’ve ever been.”

The proof will be in whether he can improve on that .246/.294/.383 line from last year.

Report: Orioles interested in Lance Lynn

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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.