Orioles designate Kevin Gregg for assignment

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Baltimore stuck with Kevin Gregg for nearly two entire seasons despite a 4.53 ERA and 64 walks in 103 innings, but today the Orioles decided not to keep him around for another three weeks.

Gregg has been designated for assignment, removing him from the 40-man roster with less than a month remaining on his two-year, $10 million contract that was misguided at the time and worked out about as poorly as expected.

Gregg had the “proven closer” label based on some save accumulating for the Cubs, Marlins, and Blue Jays, but he’s never been more than a mediocre setup man and at age 34 even that was a stretch.

Among everyone who started fewer than 25 career games and recorded at least 140 saves, Gregg is the only pitcher in baseball history with an ERA higher than 4.00.

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.