The Athletics finally addressed their weakness at shortstop late tonight, acquiring Stephen Drew from the Diamondbacks for minor league infielder Sean Jamieson.
John Gambadoro of 620 KTAR in Phoenix reports that the trade was made after Oakland claimed Drew off waivers from Arizona two days ago. The Diamondbacks will save a little over $3 million in the deal.
Drew was mentioned as a possible target for the A’s leading up to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline last month and represents a potential upgrade over Cliff Pennington. Oakland has a major-league worst .187 batting average and .545 OPS out of the shortstop position this season.
To be fair, Drew is hitting just .193/.290/.311 with two home runs, 12 RBI and a .601 OPS in 40 games since returning from ankle surgery in late June, but his track record provides reason for optimism. Drew’s contract includes a $10 million mutual option for 2013 or a $1.35 million buyout.
Jamieson, 23, owns a lowly .234/.345/.354 batting line and a .699 OPS over his first two pro seasons. He’s known as a solid defender and has some speed, but it appears that the Diamondbacks were mostly motivated to save some cash here.
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.