Baseball’s best prospect, Twins center fielder Byron Buxton, injured his left wrist diving for a ball on March 16. At the time the Twins hoped he’d miss just a few days, but he hasn’t played since then and now they don’t expect him to see any game action until at least May.
Assistant general manager Rob Antony told Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com that “there’s no set timetable” for Buxton’s return and the Twins are “not going to push him.”
Minnesota already lost fellow stud prospect Miguel Sano for the entire season to Tommy John elbow surgery and, just generally speaking, Twins fans could use some good news at some point soon. And it certainly isn’t going to come from the big-league team, which appears headed for a fourth consecutive 95-loss season.
Buxton had been ticketed for Double-A at age 20, but now he’ll need some time at extended spring training first.
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.