For the first time since being discharged from the hospital, Brandon McCarthy visited the A’s on Friday.
“Everybody was really excited to see him and I think he was very excited to see us, too,” reliever Jerry Blevins said. “There’s just nothing that compares to the clubhouse atmosphere and just having him back and being around the guys, it’s hard to beat that.”
To mark the occasion, Jonny Gomes presented McCarthy with an A’s batting helmet signed by his teammates with “heads up” written on the bill.
McCarthy suffered an epidural hemorrhage, brain contusion and skull fracture nine days ago when he was hit by an Erick Aybar liner.
“He looks normal, he’s just got a buzzed head and a cool scar,” Blevins said. “He looks a lot tougher than he did.”
McCarthy didn’t make himself available to the media today, but he’s still tweeting up a storm.
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.