The Orioles have recently begun talks with free agent righty Lance Lynn, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (subscription link), though the report also suggests that there’s no particular momentum toward an agreement. It’s still anyone’s guess how the Baltimore rotation will be filled out. Despite entering the winter with three open starting jobs, the O’s only 40-man rotation addition to this point is Michael Kelly, a minor-league free agent who has yet to appear in the majors. With Lynn’s own market still largely undeveloped, it’s not surprising to hear of this link, though the question remains whether the Orioles will really open the pocketbook for a starter.
- Of course, other organizations are arguably in a similar position with regard to Lynn. Even taking a pessimistic view of his future, he profiles as a quality back-end starter that would upgrade just about every rotation in baseball. Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch argued recently that the Cardinals ought to be ready to grab Lynn — at least, if he can be had for a cheaper-than-expected contract. A similar sentiment has been batted around by Mets writers. (See, e.g., this post from John Harper of the New York Daily News and this Twitter exchange between MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo and Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal.) No doubt an argument for the pursuit of Lynn could also be constructed for quite a few other teams, which is the sort of reasoning that supports at least some reason to believe that he and other mid-level free agents can still find significant contracts.
- Veteran knuckler R.A. Dickey has not completely ruled out a return to the hill in 2018, Rosenthal also notes. All indications to date have been that Dickey would likely retire. But it seems there’s still at least an outside possibility he’ll pitch at 43 years of age. The Braves declined a club option over Dickey despite the fact that he turned in a productive 2017 season, throwing 190 innings of 4.26 ERA ball.
- David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution breaks down the current Braves thinking at third base. Many have wondered why Atlanta did not beat the offer made by the division-rival Mets for third baseman Todd Frazier, but O’Brien notes that the team would likely have had to dangle quite a bit more money to lure Frazier from his home town to play for an organization with a less experienced roster. Of even greater interest, O’Brien says the Braves front office likely doesn’t have much free cash to work with, making a pursuit of Mike Moustakas unlikely as well. The team’s contract swap with the Dodgers moved payroll forward to the 2018 balance sheet, so the odds are at this point that the club will simply allow its array of young infielders to sink or swim in the majors.