Update (2:22 PM ET): The minor leaguer the Jays are receiving is Teoscar Hernandez, per Davidi.
Hernandez, 24, put up a .724 OPS in 41 games in the big leagues last year. He’s spent just one game in the majors this year. With Triple-A Fresno, he’s hitting .279/.369/.485 with 12 home runs and 44 RBI in 347 plate appearances.
The Blue Jays and Astros have an agreement on a trade involving starter Francisco Liriano, pending a physical, Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi reports. The Jays will receive outfielder Nori Aoki and a minor leaguer in return, per MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart.
Liriano, 33, has struggled this year, owning a 5.88 ERA with a 74/43 K/BB ratio over 82 2/3 innings. His strikeout rate is at it slowest point since 2011 and he is inducing significantly fewer ground balls at 43.4 percent compared to his average of 49.1 percent. The Sabermetric-minded Astros, however, may feel he can be fixed with a move to the bullpen. Liriano is owed the remainder of his $13 million salary and can become a free agent after the season.
Aoki, 35, has hit .272/.323/.371 across 224 plate appearances this season with the Astros. He has split time in left field with Marwin Gonzalez and Josh Reddick, but he became expendable once the club called up Derek Fisher for a second time last week.
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.