Brian McCann homers twice in first rehab game

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Brian McCann is expected to spend around two weeks on his minor league rehab assignment as he works his way back from offseason shoulder surgery, but his bat might be ready right now.

According to Mark Bowman of MLB.com, McCann homered in each of his first two at-bats last night in his first rehab game with Class A Rome. He drew two walks and ground into a double play in his other three plate appearances. David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes that he made two throwing errors in six innings behind the plate, so perhaps his arm is a bit behind his bat at this point.

The current plan calls for McCann to play five games with Rome before reporting to Triple-A Gwinnett late next week to play what will likely be another five games. Barring any setbacks, he could be activated from the disabled list sometime during the week of May 6.

McCann might not be ready for a full workload right out of the gate, so the Braves should still be able to find at-bats for Evan Gattis after his impressive showing this month. Ultimately, it’s a pretty nice problem to have.

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.