The Astros signed slugger Japhet Amador out of the Mexican League over the winter with the idea of giving him a chance to compete for the first base job during spring training, but he was unable to report to camp last week because his pregnant wife was ill. However, her condition has apparently improved to the point where he’ll be able to join the Astros.
Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle reports that Amador is expected to arrive in Orlando, Florida later this evening and should report to Astros camp tomorrow. It’s not clear when he’ll be ready for game action.
Listed at 6-foot-4, and 305 pounds on the Astros website, Amador is a very big man and he should be an interesting story to follow. The 27-year-old posted massive power numbers in the Mexican League, including 36 home runs last season. Whether that success will translate against advanced competition is the big question, but the rebuilding Astros are willing to take the gamble.
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.