Trading Todd Frazier was a big deal, but the White Sox will make a key addition today that should keep fans of the rebuilding team interested: GM Rick Hahn announced that top prospect Yoan Moncada will be called up. He is expected to play on a regular basis.
Moncada, the game’s number two prospect according to Baseball America before the season, is hitting .282 with a .377 OBP, 12 home runs, 36 RBIs, 57 runs scored, 49 walks and 17 stolen bases in 80 games with Triple-A Charlotte this year. He just turned 22 at the end of May, making him young for that level, suggesting that even greater things lie ahead. He did play eight games at the big league level for Boston last year.
While primarily a second baseman, he has played a bit of third. He’ll likely stay at the keystone while Tyler Saladino plays third in place of the departed Frazier, but the Sox do have some flexibility with him.
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.