Red Sox likely sending Jackie Bradley Jr. back to minors

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Jackie Bradley Jr. has started to lose playing time amid his struggles and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Red Sox will “likely” send the 23-year-old back to the minors when David Ortiz returns from the disabled list Friday.

Bradley is 5-for-38 (.097) with one extra-base hit in 12 games, although he has drawn six walks and stolen a base. There was plenty of debate about whether the Red Sox should have kept him at Triple-A to begin the season due to service time issues, but sending him to Triple-A now would serve the same purpose if he stays for a while.

Minnesota made a similar choice in going with 23-year-old Aaron Hicks as the Opening Day center fielder and he’s hitting even worse than Bradley at 2-for-45 (.044), which is a reminder that fan and media cries for teams to “put the best players on the field” aren’t always so cut and dried with rookies.

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.