The Orioles made it official on Monday, placing Brian Roberts on the 15-day disabled list with lingering concussion symptoms.
Roberts contends he making steady progress, but there is no timetable for his return. The former All-Star hasn’t played since last May.
The Orioles plan to have Roberts travel with the team initially.
“I told Buck [Showalter] the other day, ‘You don’t know how excited you’ve made me to know I don’t have to start down here and be isolated from everybody,'” Roberts told the Baltimore Sun. “That was part of the miserable aspect to it last year. Last year, it was very important for me to be down here and get away from the craziness. Now it’s important for me to get back in the craziness. I guess the good part it [is] that’s the difference in where I am in the recovery process.”
With Roberts out, the Orioles will go with Robert Andino at second base. Endy Chavez figures to get starts in the leadoff spot.
The Orioles also put Zach Britton, who might have been their Opening Day starter, on the DL with his shoulder injury. Veteran pitchers Dontrelle Willis, Brad Bergesen and Jason Berken and infielder Matt Antonelli were among their cuts.
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.