Mike Trout won Rookie of the Year and will finish runner-up for MVP, but surely this will be his proudest accomplishment for 2012: Trout has been named the “Heart and Hustle” award winner.
Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association gives the annual award to the “player who demonstrates a passion for the game and best embodies the values, spirit and traditions of baseball.”
Each of the 30 teams had a finalist and that list amusingly included Melky Cabrera representing the Giants despite his 50-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs.
And in accepting the award Trout put himself in position to win cliche-giver of the year as well: “I take pride in these awards. I go out there and give 110 percent every time and leave it all on the field. There’s only one thing in baseball, and I think it’s to win and just have fun.”
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.