Out since August 28 following a re-occurance of his irregular heartbeat, Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen has been cleared to resume pitching and is expected to be available out of the bullpen tonight.
Once the season is over Jansen is slated to undergo an operation to address his atrial fibrillation and for now he’s ceased taking blood thinners because of the added risk they would bring if he were hit by a line drive or suffered another injury.
Jansen was fantastic before being shut down, saving 25 games with a 2.54 ERA, .156 opponents’ batting average, and 86 strikeouts in 57 innings to rank among the most dominant pitchers in baseball for the third straight season.
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.