Buster Olney probably doesn’t know it yet, but CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman reports that the Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Indians, Orioles, Pirates and at least two other teams have “some level of interest in” Padres third baseman Chase Headley.
The 28-year-old Headley should have been the Padres’ All-Star on merit. He’s hit .271/.373/.421 with eight homers, 42 RBI and 10 steals this season. Last year, he hit .330/.399/.465 outside of Petco Park, and he’s at .275/.378/.471 in road games this year.
The Padres are sure to put a high price on Headley. He’s making a modest $3.475 million this year and probably won’t get much more than $5 million in arbitration next year. He won’t be a free agent until after the 2014 season.
Pittsburgh would certainly be an interesting destination for Headley. The Padres would surely like to get their hands on a couple of the Pirates’ better pitching prospects, and the Pirates would stand to upgrade not only their offense but also their defense by moving Pedro Alvarez to first base.
Alas, he’d probably help the Dodgers more than any other team. Not only have they gotten little out of third base, but Headley has hit .327/.409/.509 in 110 career at-bats at Dodger Stadium.
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.