Braves rookie Andrelton Simmons back from broken finger

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As expected Andrelton Simmons is off the disabled list and in the Braves’ lineup for tonight’s game after the rookie shortstop missed the past two months with a broken pinkie finger.

In his absence the Braves traded for Paul Janish from the Reds and turned to him as their primary shortstop. However, Janish hit just .188 in 53 games and there was never any doubt about Simmons immediately reclaiming the everyday job.

Prior to the July 8 injury Simmons hit .296 with three homers and a .788 OPS in 33 games while playing excellent defense at shortstop, so if healthy his return should provide a huge boost to the Braves down the stretch.

He went 8-for-25 with two homers on a brief minor league rehab assignment.

Report: Orioles interested in Lance Lynn

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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.