Home Run Derby league captains Troy Tulowitzki and Jose Bautista just revealed four of their five choices for next week’s event live on ESPN’s Sportscenter. The final two participants for the 2014 Home Run Derby will be announced on Thursday.
For the National League squad of sluggers, Tulo has decided to align himself with Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton, Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig, and third baseman Todd Frazier of the Reds.
Bautista’s American League group so far includes Athletics left fielder Yoenis Cespedes, Orioles center fielder Adam Jones, and a host-city-favorite selection in Twins second baseman Brian Dozier.
The 2014 Home Run Derby will go down next Monday night (8 p.m. ET) at Minnesota’s Target Field.
There’s a new group-and-bracket type of format this year, which is explained in detail on MLB.com.
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.