The New England Patriots’ Julian Edelman is the NFL’s lone two-way player, having filled in admirably at cornerback in addition to his wide receiver duties last season. Apparently, that only scratches the surface of his versatility, though.
“He worked out for us at shortstop and took ground balls and fly balls, and he took batting practice with Group Four, and he just wowed us,” Blue Jays third base coach and infield instructor Brian Butterfield told WEEI.com. “He worked unbelievably hard, and was just soaked by the end of batting practice.”
Edelman hooked up with the Blue Jays through friend J.P. Arencibia. Working out with the team on Sunday, he hit five homers during batting practice, including two “absolute bombs” into the middle deck at Rogers Centre.
Butterfield lauded Edelman’s great footwork around the infield and said that of all the non-baseball players to work out with the Jays, he was “far and away the best I’ve seen by a pretty wide margin. He is a really good player.”
Of course, Edelman isn’t really going to try the two-sport thing. He’s not through with baseball just yet, though, as he is hoping to work out with the Red Sox someday soon.
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.