Josh Hamilton is trying to quit chewing tobacco

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According to the Associated Press, Josh Hamilton is trying to quit chewing tobacco.

One would think that it shouldn’t be too tough for someone who has already overcome many personal demons, but it’s been a real struggle for him, not unlike many who dip or smoke regularly. Hamilton actually tried to quit last year, something we discussed on this blog, but it didn’t take.

In an effort to kick the habit for good, Hamilton is currently using toothpicks treated with tea tree oil, gum or sunflower seeds.

“It was time to do it,” Hamilton said. “It’s a habit and I don’t really enjoy it like I used to.”

Hamilton was actually chewing on one of the toothpicks when he ripped a first-inning single yesterday against the Rockies. That sounds a little risky, but hey, beats dying a slow death via dipping.

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.