Carlos Gonzalez will join teammate Troy Tulowitzki on the sidelines for the remainder of the year, as the Rockies announced that the outfielder will undergo season-ending left knee surgery Monday.
Cody Ulm of MLB.com reports that the recovery timetable for Gonzalez is expected to be 5-6 months, which would only leave him about a month or so of leeway before the beginning of spring training.
Gonzalez has had knee problems dating back to last season and the 28-year-old has played just 70 games this year while hitting a career-worst .238 with a .723 OPS after topping an .875 OPS every season from 2009-2013.
“It was hard for me to sit back and have a leg kick,” Gonzalez told Ulm. “It was even harder to hold all my weight on my back knee.”
Gonzalez played 145 games in 2010 while winning the batting title and finishing third in the MVP balloting, but since then he’ll have played 442 of a possible 648 games for the Rockies while missing at least 27 games each year.
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.