White Sox leadoff man Alejandro De Aza was threatening to go the whole year without grounding into a double play, but his long streak ended in the eighth inning of Tuesday’s loss to the Indians.
With Gordon Beckham on first and the White Sox down by two, De Aza hit a grounder to second and the Indians managed to turn two despite De Aza’s hustle down the line. The Indians went on to win 4-3.
Before that grounder, De Aza had 570 plate appearances this season without a GIDP. Baseball-reference has double play data since 1939 and only two players have ever had more plate appearances in a year without ever grounding into a double play. Houston’s Craig Biggio went an incredible 744 plate appearances in 1997 without ever hitting into one. The Tigers’ Dick McAuliffe is No. 2 on the list. He had 658 plate appearances in 1968.
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.