Angels claim infielder Ryan Wheeler off of waivers from the Rockies

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Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels have claimed infielder Ryan Wheeler off of waivers from the Rockies and assigned him to Triple-A Salt Lake. The club also designated pitcher David Carpenter for assignment.

The Rockies designated Wheeler for assignment on Thursday to create room for pitcher Pedro Hernandez on the roster for his start on Thursday. Wheeler, 26, has played with the Diamondbacks and the Rockies over parts of the last three seasons. He posted a paltry .232/.281/.375 slash line with two home runs and 13 RBI in 64 plate appearances this season.

Carpenter, 26, made one relief appearance at the major league level for the Angels, throwing three shutout innings on June 27 against the Royals. Between Double-A Arkansas and Triple-A Salt Lake, the right-hander posted a 2.25 ERA with a 46/21 K/BB ratio in 48 innings, mostly in relief.

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.