All indications are that Brian Wilson will undergo Tommy John surgery — he certainly seemed resigned to the possibility yesterday — but there’s no guarantee that’s what will be advised this week.
Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com reports that Wilson was diagnosed with a “moderate” sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing elbow. He does not have a full tear and there are pitchers who opt to rehab the injury rather than have surgery.
Wilson traveled to Southern California today to get an opinion from Dr. Lewis Yocum and he’ll visit Dr. James Andrews in Florida on Wednesday. We should know something definitive by the end of the week.
Assuming Wilson ultimately opts for surgery, he will miss the rest of the season and perhaps the early part of next season. The Giants could have a tough decision ahead of them under this scenario, as he is arbitration-eligible for the final time this winter. As Baggarly noted yesterday, the Giants could offer him a 20 percent (maximum) pay cut, meaning a $6.4 million salary for 2013, or they could non-tender him and potentially bring him back at a lower salary. Of course, non-tendering him would give him the option of testing the open market.
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.