Chase Headley expects to be ready for Opening Day

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Chase Headley was diagnosed Tuesday with a Grade 1 calf strain and will be held out of spring training activities for the next 2-3 weeks. But he doesn’t expect to miss a regular-season game.

“If I can get 15 to 20 (at-bats) from both sides, that’s pretty close to what I need,” Headley told Jeff Sanders of the San Diego Union-Tribune on Tuesday evening in Padres camp. “If it progresses the way that I hope — and I think that it will — then I should be fine. We should have plenty of time.”

Headley got a late start to the 2013 season due to a fractured thumb and wound up posting a disappointing .747 OPS with 13 homers and 50 RBI in 141 games. He had an .875 OPS, 31 homers, and 151 RBI in 2012.

Headley is currently scheduled to become a free agent five days after the 2014 World Series.

This is going to be an important summer for him.

Report: Orioles interested in Lance Lynn

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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.