While the club isn’t commenting on the situation, CSNBayArea.com’s Andrew Baggarly says all indications are that the Giants won’t bring Melky Cabrera back should they advance in the postseason.
According to Baggarly, Cabrera recently reached out to Giants officials to find out when and if he should report to the club’s minor league complex to prepare for the postseason. Cabrera’s 50-game PED suspension will include the first five games of the postseason, but he’d be eligible to return afterwards, presumably for the NLCS and World Series if the Giants advance.
As is, it sounds like the Giants would rather go it without him, even though they’ve yet to come up with a regular left fielder in his absence. It’s also worth noting that they’re currently using Guillermo Mota out of the pen even though he served a 100-game PED suspension as a repeat offender this year.
If he’s given the chance to face some live pitching in the couple of weeks leading to a potential NLCS, one presumes Cabrera would be an upgrade for the Giants. The free-agent-to-be hit .346/.390/.516 in 459 at-bats prior to his suspension and he seems set to claim the NL batting title unless Andrew McCutchen heats back up.
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.