Aaron wrote earlier today how Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton has bounced back nicely with the bat after a slow start to the season, but he’s also getting it done defensively. Look no further than this excellent leaping catch in the ninth inning this afternoon against the Pirates:
Not only did Hamilton rob Travis Snider of an extra-base hit and potentially save the game for the Reds, but he also nearly doubled off the runner at first base. Pretty impressive stuff.
Hamilton doubled, stole a base, and scored a run in today’s loss and is now batting .277/.313/.400 with four home runs, 21 RBI, and 29 stolen bases over 66 games this season. The 23-year-old speedster entered play today tied for 23rd among position players in fWAR (2.3). Not surprisingly, his defense has been a big reason for that.
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.