Rangers and Ian Kinsler working toward agreement on extension

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UPDATE: Jim Bowden of ESPN.com and MLB Network Radio reports that the Rangers and Kinsler are working toward a five-year contract extension.

The Rangers would pick up Kinsler’s $10 million option for next season as part of the agreement while the five-year extension would be worth approximately $14 million per season. This would guarantee Kinsler approximately $80 million over the next six seasons.

T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com confirms that the two sides are still “grinding” on contract extension talks and that a six-year deal is in play.

5:00 PM: Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reported earlier this week that Ian Kinsler and the Rangers were discussing a six-year contract extension, but today the second baseman told Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas that there was nothing new to report.

Kinsler also called the negotiations a “confusing process” and described his level of optimism about getting something done as “neutral.”

Kinsler has said that he’d prefer not to negotiate during the season, but unlike some players he isn’t setting a strict Opening Day deadline for the talks if they’re relatively close to getting something done.

He’s also under contract for $7 million this season and the Rangers hold a $10 million option for 2013, so it’s something the two sides could revisit in the offseason.

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.