It’s never good news when an injured pitcher schedules a visit with Dr. James Andrews or Dr. Lewis Yocum, but what about when an injured pitcher schedules visits with both of them?
Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that Jaime Garcia will do just that after the Cardinals placed him on the disabled list yesterday with a strained shoulder. He’s also been dealing with elbow and hip problems recently, leading to skipping a turn in the rotation last week before returning with a rough outing Tuesday versus the Astros.
For now general manager John Mozeliak has said that surgery “is not on the table” but obviously that doesn’t mean much until Andrews and Yocum take a look.
Garcia has been mostly healthy since joining the Cardinals’ rotation in 2010, making 72 starts with a 3.40 ERA to earn a four-year, $27 million contract extension about 11 months ago, but he had a long history of arm problems in the minors.
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.