If you don’t remember the story of Barret Loux, here it is in a nutshell: Arizona drafted the Texas A&M right-hander sixth overall in 2010 and came to terms with him on a $2 million deal, only to back out of it after his physical showed significant damage in both his elbow and shoulder.
At that point, the Diamondbacks figured it was a much better idea to let him go, and, in so doing, secure the seventh overall pick in the 2011 draft, rather than sign him at a drastically reduced amount. Loux was made a free agent and signed with the Rangers for $312,000 in Nov. 2010.
The now 23-year-old Loux has managed to avoid arm surgery since, and after winning again last night, he’s 14-1 with a 3.38 ERA and a 91/35 K/BB ratio in 117 1/3 innings for Double-A Frisco.
Loux isn’t a top prospect, and the Diamondbacks certainly wouldn’t change the way they handled the situation, given that they ended up with promising right-hander Archie Bradley from the compensation pick. Loux, though, does project as a useful bottom-of-the-rotation guy or middle reliever if he can stay healthy. The Rangers did well to take a chance on him, and it’d be no surprise if they call him up to make his major league debut next month.
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.