If the Rockies have any chance of competing for a playoff spot this season, they will need star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki to stay healthy. That’s why they aren’t messing around right now.
Tulowitzki left last night’s Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks after he was hit in the left leg with a pitch. While X-rays came back negative, Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that he’s dealing with a bruised calf/fibula and will sit out at least the next few days in order for the inflammation to go down.
Tulowitzki missed a bunch of time last season due to a broken rib, but he still hit .312/.391/.540 with 25 home runs and 82 RBI in 126 games. Injuries have been an issue for him during his career, as he has averaged 115 games played over the past six seasons.
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.