UPDATE: X-rays came back negative and Santana is considered day-to-day.
9:31 PM: Carlos Santana was forced to exit today’s game against the Yankees in the ninth inning after he got crossed up on a pitch from his teammate Chris Perez and was struck on the left thumb. Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports that the preliminary diagnosis is a contusion, but there should be more clarity on his status after he goes for X-rays.
An extended absence would be a tough blow, as Santana is off to a fantastic start this season. The 27-year-old went 1-for-2 with two walks before exiting today and is hitting an even .500 (13-for-26) with two home runs, four doubles and five RBI through seven games.
Lou Marson replaced Santana in the ninth inning today, but he might not be back to 100 percent after he suffered a neck strain in a home plate collision with Rays’ outfielder Desmond Jennings on Saturday. The Indians may have to add another catcher, even if Santana’s injury is a day-to-day situation.
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.