As scheduled, Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts had season-ending hip surgery Thursday.
Britt Ghiroli of MLB.com says “doctors found what they were expecting” — a labrum tear — and were able to correct the issue in what is being labeled a successful procedure. Roberts will now embark on a 4-6 month rehab, which should conclude before the beginning of spring training next February.
The 34-year-old batted just .182 (12-for-66) with zero extra-base hits, five walks and 12 strikeouts 74 plate appearances this season. He is under contract for $13 million in 2013 before hitting the open market heading into 2014.
Roberts has played in only 115 of a potential 486 games over the last three seasons for Baltimore.
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.