Orioles monitoring rehab of free agent Gavin Floyd

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Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun passes along this inside scoop:

The Orioles have some interest in free agent right-hander Gavin Floyd and have been monitoring his progress as he recovers from elbow surgery, according to industry sources.

The 30-year-old Floyd, who starred at Mount St. Joseph’s before being selected by the Philadelphia Phillies with the fourth overall pick in the 2001 amateur draft, underwent Tommy John surgery in May, when he also had a torn flexor tendon repaired.

The initial thought after Floyd underwent those dual elbow surgeries was that he’d need two full years of recovery time, but his agent Mike Moye told MLB Trade Rumors on Tuesday that Floyd is aiming to begin pitching off a mound by early-December and could be at full strength by Opening Day. Of course, an agent’s job is to provide a favorable client profile.

Floyd, a native of Annapolis, Maryland, just finished up a seven-year run with the Chicago White Sox during which he registered a 4.22 ERA, 1.30 WHIP and 7.1 K/9 across 168 starts (1,042 2/3 total innings).

Rays trade Jake Odorizzi to Twins

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The Rays have traded right-hander Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, per team announcements on Saturday evening. The Twins will receive minor league shortstop Jermaine Palacios in the deal. Despite previous speculation, recently-DFA’d outfielder Corey Dickerson was not included in the trade.

With Odorizzi, the Twins finally have the front-end starter they’ve been seeking all winter. It’s a bargain deal as well, as the 27-year-old righty is under contract through 2019 and didn’t require the club to part with any of their top-shelf prospects in the trade. Odorizzi will be looking to stage a comeback in 2018 after a dismal performance with the Rays last year, during which he eked out a career-worst 4.14 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 through 143 1/3 innings.

Palacios, 21, ranked no. 27 in the Twins’ system last season. He split his year between Single-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Fort Myers, raking a combined .296/.333/.454 with 13 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 539 plate appearances. He’s expected to continue developing at shortstop, though he’s also seen limited time at second and third base during his four-year career in the minors.