From The Trentonian’s Josh Norris, maybe the best minor league best writer around, comes word that the White Sox have scouted Dellin Betances’ last three starts and are attempting to trade for the Yankees prospect.
Betances’ stock has tumbled this year, with the 6-foot-8 right-hander getting demoted to Double-A Trenton after going 3-5 with a 6.39 ERA and a 71/69 K/BB ratio in 74 2/3 innings for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He has been quite a bit better since the move, going 1-1 with a 2.41 ERA and a 20/7 K/BB ratio in 18 2/3 innings (though with five unearned runs).
Still, even with Betances’ stock down, it’s hard to see how a deal would work here. The White Sox certainly aren’t looking to sell veterans, and while they’ve steadily produced major leaguers these last few years, their minor league system isn’t very well regarded. Plus, the simple fact that the White Sox are high on him should give the Yankees pause about dealing him. They’re the same team that took the lightly regarded Jose Quintana from them over the winter and quickly turned him into a major league starter.
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.