While in town to be examined by team doctors yesterday Michael Pineda made a surprise appearance in the Yankees clubhouse, hanging out with the new teammates he barely got to know before undergoing shoulder surgery in April.
Pineda described himself as “feeling better right now” but was also quick to note that he hasn’t been cleared to start throwing again, telling Brendan Prunty of the Newark Star Ledger that his goal is to do so “in the middle of September.”
That obviously rules out any kind of game action this season, minors or majors, but that was expected when Pineda had his torn labrum repaired and it should give him plenty of time to be ready for next spring. For now he’ll continue rehabbing at the Yankees’ complex in Florida.
Meanwhile, Jesus Montero is hitting .266 with eight homers and a .721 OPS in 62 games for the Mariners, so even with Pineda blowing out his arm almost immediately the trade hasn’t been a disaster for New York yet.
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.