Here’s a concerning development for the Athletics with the start of the postseason just days away.
According to Joe Stliglich of CSNBayArea.com, Yoenis Cespedes was forced to leave last night’s win over the Mariners in the fourth inning after aggravating his right shoulder. The 27-year-old has been limited to DH duties for the past two weeks, but the A’s were hoping to test him in left field throughout the weekend. That’s unlikely to happen now.
Athletics manager Bob Melvin said after the game that there’s a “good chance” Cespedes will sit out tonight’s game at the very least, but he’s still hoping to have him available for the postseason. However, since he aggravated his shoulder swinging the bat, it’s fair to wonder whether he’d even be able to hold up as a DH.
“I know we’ve got a little time before the postseason,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “Hopefully we can get him healthy.”
Cespedes, 27, is batting .240/.294/.442 with 26 home runs and 80 RBI over 135 games this season. He has 49 homers over his first 264 games in the majors.
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.