Chris Perez has seen his fair share of controversy this year. He’s challenged the fan base. He has gesticulated and emoted in ways that have really pissed off the opposition. He got all Internet Tough Guy and tweeted about how he’s gonna plunk Royals hitters. He, inexplicably, went to war with the beloved Kenny Lofton.
But — and I am only linking, not describing, because it’s a bit NSFW for us — Deadspin explains that he’s now getting into the kind of thing that could lead to a suspension. Just ask Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell. And yes the fan was being a jerk too, but the player has to not take that kind of bait and certainly not get into profane exchanges with fans. Bad, bad form in my view.
But even if Perez doesn’t get in trouble over this, it’s bad news for him. Because it’s not like we haven’t seen this story a million times. A high-energy, colorful in-your-face relief pitcher wears on people’s nerves, though generally gets ignored and gets eye-rolls when he’s saving all of the games. The second that fastball goes away, however, he becomes just another bullpen arm. That attitude wears thin, and his life expectancy in the game is way shorter than your average, workaday reliever.
But hey, if Perez wants the Kenny Powers career path, that’s his prerogative.
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.