Jurickson Profar was shut down earlier this week due to lingering tendinitis in his right shoulder, but Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports that he was cleared to resume swinging a bat yesterday.
This is an encouraging development for Profar, though it’s unclear when he’ll be allowed to start throwing again. The original plan called for him to be shut down for at least one week.
The Rangers can’t afford any further setbacks with Profar, as they are counting on him to be their starting second baseman following the Ian Kinsler trade. The 21-year-old hit just .234/.308/.336 with six home runs and 26 RBI over 324 plate appearances in sporadic playing time last year, but the hope is that he’ll blossom as a regular.
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.