Vladimir Guerrero’s comeback is officially underway, as the former MVP reported to the Blue Jays’ minor-league complex in Florida yesterday after signing a minor-league contract last week.
When asked how Guerrero fits into the Blue Jays’ plans general manager Alex Anthopoulos made it very clear that they view the 37-year-old as a low-cost flier who must play his way back to the majors, saying: “I have no idea how he’s going to perform. There’s no point in even spending time on that because I don’t even know what we have.”
John Farrell was slightly more optimistic about Guerrero eventually joining Toronto’s lineup, but the manager also left open the possibility that the Blue Jays will decide he’s not worth adding.
For now he’ll work out and try to get into game shape, with Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com reporting that there’s no immediate timetable for his minor-league debut and Guerrero definitely won’t be an option for a call-up until June.
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.