Josh Hamilton aims to return around May 23-25

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Pedro Moura of the Orange County Register reports that Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton took one-handed swings Wednesday in Anaheim for the first time since undergoing surgery April 11 to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb.

Hamilton will move his rehab to the Angels’ spring training complex in Arizona on Friday — where he will begin easing back into other baseball-related activities. The 32-year-old slugger hopes to return to Anaheim’s active roster the weekend of May 23-25.

Hamilton was off to a hot start this season, batting .444/.545/.741 with two home runs and six RBI through eight game. He posted a disappointing .250/.307/.432 slash line with 21 homers and 79 RBI in 2013.

Raul Ibanez is currently serving as the Angels’ regular left fielder at age 41.

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.