Bryce Harper isn’t the only member of the Nationals who is nearing a return. According to Dan Kolko of MASNSports.com, Nationals manager Davey Johnson said today that catcher Wilson Ramos should be playing in rehab games within the next 10 days.
Ramos was placed on the disabled list on May 16 after he aggravated a left hamstring strain. The 25-year-old backstop had a minor setback while running earlier this month, but Kolko reports that a recent MRI came back clean. The Nationals figure to be extra cautious given that this was his second stint on DL this season, but he should be back around the All-Star break if all goes well.
Ramos showed a lot of promise when he hit .267/.334/.445 with 15 home runs and 52 RBI in 113 games as a rookie in 2011, but a knee injury limited him to 25 games last season and he has only appeared in 11 games this year.
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.