As expected the Nationals have activated Bryce Harper from the disabled list after the 20-year-old outfielder missed the past 31 games with a knee injury stemming from his May 13 collision with the wall at Dodger Stadium.
Harper went 4-for-11 with a homer and three total extra-base hits during a brief minor-league rehab assignment, which concluded Saturday.
Before being shut down he hit .287 with 12 homers and a .973 OPS in 44 games, although Harper hit just .226 between the Dodger Stadium collision and being placed on the disabled list. He’ll resume starting in left field for the Nationals, with Jayson Werth in right field. Washington went 15-16 during Harper’s absence while giving his playing time to a combination of Tyler Moore, Stephen Lombardozzi, and most recently Roger Bernadina.
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.