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Report: The Orioles remain interested in free agent right-hander Yovani Gallardo

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After losing left-hander Wei-Yin Chen in free agency, the Orioles’ starting rotation is a big question mark. As of now, they could be looking at a group including Chris Tillman, Kevin Gausman, Miguel Gonzalez, Ubaldo Jimenez, and Vance Worley. Doesn’t exactly scream AL East favorites. The club picked up some depth today by acquiring Odrisamer Despaigne from the Padres, but they might not be done making moves.

According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the Orioles still have interest in free agent right-hander Yovani Gallardo. The market hasn’t been kind to him, as he’s attached to draft pick compensation. And this is a big deal for Baltimore, who are set to pick 14th overall in this year’s draft. Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette has gone on record saying he’s reluctant to give up the pick, but Rosenthal writes that Gallardo’s price tag could drop to a point where they’d be willing to make a deal.

Gallardo, who turns 30 later this month, is coming off a career-low 3.42 ERA over 33 starts with the Rangers. That’s an impressive accomplishment considering the hitter-friendly environment, but his declining strikeout rate is surely another factor in why he’s still looking for a home in early February.

Strikeout percentage:

2012: 23.7 percent
2013: 18.6 percent
2014: 17.9 percent
2015: 15.3 percent

The Astros and Rockies were mentioned as possibilities for Gallardo last month, but it’s safe to say the Doug Fister signing takes Houston out of the mix.

Jon Lester isn’t a fan of the nachos guy from yesterday’s game

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In the bottom of the second inning of Monday night’s game at Busch Stadium, Cubs shortstop Addison Russell dove into the stands down the left field line in an attempt to catch a foul ball. A Cardinals fan holding a tray of nachos was in Russell’s path and had his tasty treat knocked onto the dirt in front of the stands. Russell did the fan a solid, though, bringing him a new tray of nachos and posed for a selfie. The fan was also later seen taking selfies with other fans.

That peeved Cubs starter Jon Lester, who started Monday’s game. Via Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times:

“Great effort,” pitcher Jon Lester said. “But I don’t understand the other stuff.

“A guy fell into him and got nacho cheese on his arm and now he’s taking pictures and signing autographs. It shows you where our society’s at right now with all that stuff.”

It wasn’t like Lester had a poor outing and that’s why he was salty. The lefty yielded just one run on five hits and two walks with four strikeouts over six innings. Lester just, uh, hates selfies, I guess? I’m also not sure how the whole scenario is a reflection of American society, unless he means that people can turn a disappointing situation into a fun and heartwarming situation.

At least Russell and Cubs manager Joe Maddon had a good sense of humor about it. Maddon said the whole thing was “pretty entertaining.” Russell said, “You don’t get between a man and his nachos.”

Bryce Harper activated from the disabled list

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The Nationals have activated Bryce Harper from the disabled list.

They were expected to activate Harper yesterday but they didn’t because Harper was suffering from an illness. He’s better today so he should be in the lineup against the Phillies.

Harper has been out since August when he slipped on a wet first base bag and was diagnosed with a bone bruise in his left knee. That interrupted an MVP-caliber season in which he was hitting .326/.419/.614 with 29 home runs, 87 RBI, and 92 runs scored in 472 plate appearances. While the postseason awards are out of his reach, the Nats will be content to get him back up to speed in time for what looks to be a first round playoff matchup against the Chicago Cubs.