Athletics option Tommy Milone to Triple-A Sacramento

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Having added two starting pitchers — Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel — in Friday’s big trade with the Cubs, the Athletics needed to juggle the roster a bit to make room. The club announced that outfielder Nick Buss was designated for assignment, and that Tommy Milone has been optioned to Triple-A Sacramento.

Milone, who was shocked to learn of his demotion, began the year in the Athletics’ starting rotation but didn’t make his season debut until April 11 due to scheduling and a rainout. Over 16 starts, the 27-year-old lefty posted a 3.55 ERA with a 61/26 K/BB ratio in 96 1/3 innings.

Buss, 27, was claimed by the A’s off waivers from the Dodgers in early May and spent his time since with Triple-A Sacramento. In 250 plate appearances, he posted a .683 OPS. He’ll likely pass through waivers and the A’s will keep him right where he is.

The A’s, by the way, have listed Samardzija as Sunday’s starter against the Blue Jays.

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.