As MLB and NPB work toward a new agreement on how Japanese players will be made available for negotiations with U.S. clubs, a report is out which suggests a new possible framework: maximum bids.
That comes from Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports, who reports that MLB’s proposal to Japanese officials calls for a maximum amount for bids on players exposed to the posting system. While a report earlier in the day suggested that, if more than one team makes a max bid, the team with the worst record gets the right to negotiate with the player, Brown denies this. Rather, all teams who bid the max would be allowed to negotiate.
Like Brown says, though, this is just a proposal. Ultimately, NPB is looking for a way to extract top dollar for negotiation rights while MLB is looking for a way to cap the bids and, if possible, benefit teams with worse records and/or lower revenues. Obviously something will have to give before an agreement is reached.
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.