Bryce Harper plays the game the right way

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Ken Rosenthal has a feature up about Bryce Harper that’s worth a read today.

In it, everyone who is quoted and every opinion expressed is about how hard Harper plays. How respectful he is. How he plays the game the right way and, even at age 19, sets an example for others while still making a point to learn from the veterans. I’m struggling to think of a faster turnaround in terms of perception, persona and attitude than the one Harper has undergone since even last season.

What I’d like to know is if this is merely a product of natural maturity — think about how different you were when you were 19 than when you were 17 — of if there is someone or many someone’s in the Nats organization or in Scott Boras’ operation who made it a point to help the young man along in his maturity process.  It’s probably both, but to the extent there is a lot of the latter, those people deserve some serious kudos.

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.