CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the Orioles have expressed interest in acquiring corner outfielder Jason Kubel from the Diamondbacks but are “disinclined” at this point to meet Arizona’s demands, which center around young pitching.
The D’Backs have an overly crowded outfield and are currently shopping both Kubel and Justin Upton.
Upton has drawn serious attention from multiple teams — including the Padres, Rangers, Mariners and Braves — and would obviously fetch a far better return package than Kubel. The younger brother of B.J. Upton has hit .284/.363/.481 with 48 homers, 155 RBI and 39 stolen bases over the past two seasons.
He’s owed a total of $38.5 million in salary through the 2015 campaign.
Kubel, 30, batted .253/.327/.506 with 30 home runs and 90 RBI in 2012. He signed a two-year, $16 million free agent contract with the Snakes last winter. That deal also includes a $7.5 million club option for 2014.
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.