Well, that was quick.
After going 2-for-3 with a walk in his first minor league rehab game with Double-A Bowie last night, the Orioles are set to activate Derrek Lee from the disabled list for tonight’s game against the Blue Jays.
Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com writes that Lee will have to make it through batting practice first, but all indications are that he will play first base and bat fifth against left-hander Ricky Romero.
Lee has been on the disabled list since May 17 with a strained left oblique. The 35-year-old first baseman was batting .231/.311/.346 with four homers and 14 RBI over his first 177 plate appearances prior to the injury.
An interesting tidbit today from The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, who noted that ongoing talks between agent Scott Boras and the Padres have focused more on starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel than slugger Bryce Harper. Earlier this week, there were conflicting reports on the Padres’ level of interest in Harper — MLB Network’s Jon Heyman heard the club had not ruled out another big signing after getting Manny Machado, while Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune talked to multiple sources who believed otherwise — but any agreement between the two is looking unlikelier by the day.
As for Keuchel, Rosenthal cautions that a potential deal is still a “longshot,” especially as the team has other, cheaper options in mind. The 31-year-old southpaw turned down a qualifying offer from the Astros last year and is likely angling for something north of the five-year, $90 million contract extension he rejected from the club in 2016. He’s coming off of another solid performance in Houston, where he went 12-11 in 34 starts with a 3.74 ERA, 2.6 BB/9, 6.7 SO/9, and 3.6 fWAR through 204 2/3 innings in 2018.
While Keuchel has failed to garner substantial interest around the league this offseason, Heyman points out that the Phillies are looking to establish themselves as frontrunners for the lefty — and they’re far less likely to have hang-ups about his asking price, too.