Lance Berkman managed to stay off the disabled list despite injuring his knee last week, but the 37-year-old designated hitter tweaked his hip running to first base Saturday and the Rangers placed him on the shelf.
Rangers manager Ron Washington indicated that the combination of injuries gave Berkman little chance to be productive, so the team is hoping the time off is better than “putting a band aid on this and putting a band aid on that.”
Berkman got off to a strong start after signing a one-year, $11 million deal with the Rangers, but has hit just .176 in 20 games since June 1 while also taking quite a bit of time off.
And now the Rangers have Manny Ramirez playing at Triple-A as a potential designated hitter alternative.
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.