Not surprising given that they, you know, won the World Series. But here are the numbers on offseason merchandise sales from Fanatics.com:
Top selling teams since Jan. 1
Boston Red Sox
St. Louis Cardinals
Best Offseason Year-over-Year increases
Boston Red Sox – up 230%
Pittsburgh Pirates – up 200%
Kansas City Royals – up 175%
Top-selling MLB Players since Jan. 1
The only thing that is even mildly surprising here is the presence of Royals gear going up 175%. On the one hand I do feel like there is a lot more hope and optimism among Royals fans than there used to be, and that likely translates into jersey sales. On the other hand, it’s not like some external event like a playoff appearance or a huge free agent signing or anything went down for them.
Maybe people are finally realizing that, the team itself aside, the Royals caps and jerseys are pretty sweet all things considered.
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.