Terry Francona “has had preliminary contact with Indians”

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As soon as the Indians announced this afternoon that Manny Acta was out as manager there was speculation that Terry Francona could emerge as a potential candidate in Cleveland.

And according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com the wheels may already be in motion.

Rosenthal reports that Francona “already has had preliminary contact with the Indians” and wonders if it might come down to “whether the Indians could pay Francona a large enough salary to persuade him to leave his job as an analyst for ESPN.”

I don’t know Francona’s financial situation other than the fact that he earned about $4 million per year from the Red Sox, but it seems unlikely that he’d let money get in the way if he’s itching to get back into managing after a year talking about the game on television.

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.