Not afraid to trade within the division the A’s and Rangers have agreed to a deal that sends 30-year-old center fielder Craig Gentry to Oakland and outfield prospect Michael Choice to Texas, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com.
Gentry is incredibly fast and a fantastic defensive center fielder with a .280 batting average and .355 on-base percentage in 323 career games, although those totals likely overstate his offensive ability because he’s typically been platooned a lot.
Choice was the 10th overall pick in the 2010 draft, ranked as a consensus top-100 prospect coming into this year, and hit .302 with 14 homers and an .835 OPS in 132 games at Triple-A as a 23-year-old.
Between this deal and adding a $10 million closer in Jim Johnson the A’s are clearly in win-now mode.
UPDATE: Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports reports that the A’s will also get right-hander Josh Lindblom and the Rangers will also get minor league infielder Chris Bostick.
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.