Willson Contreras likely headed to disabled list after pulling hamstring

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Cubs catcher Willson Contreras pulled his right hamstring running out a ground out in the top of the eighth inning of Wednesday’s 3-1 loss to the Giants. Manager Joe Maddon says Contreras is likely headed to the disabled list, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports. The team will know more after Contreras undergoes an MRI.

Contreras, 25, finished 0-for-3 with a walk on the afternoon. He’s hitting .274/.342/.519 with 21 home runs and 70 RBI in 378 plate appearances this season.

Alex Avila, acquired from the Tigers at the trade deadline, will handle most of the playing time behind the plate while Contreras is out. The Cubs will also likely recall Victor Caratini from Triple-A Iowa to serve as Avila’s back-up.

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.