Although the Orioles need multiple starting pitchers, they’re unlikely to re-sign Jeremy Hellickson, Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com relays. Hellickson, whom the O’s acquired from Philadelphia in July, told Kubatko and other reporters that he has “loved” his time in Baltimore. The 30-year-old hasn’t looked like part of the solution since the trade, though, having pitched to an ugly 6.97 ERA with just 31 strikeouts in 51 2/3 innings (10 starts). And manager Buck Showalter seems prepared to lose Hellickson, saying: “I’m sure he’s got some things planned for next year as a free agent. I know what he was like in Tampa. Nobody’s the same three or four years later. Everybody changes somewhat. I’m not going to get into some of the challenges that I think he’s faced here and this season. Hopefully, he’ll get them behind him and be a good pitcher for somebody next year.”
More from Baltimore and two other East Coast cities:
- The Mets are “nearly certain” to pick up infielder Asdrubal Cabrera’s option for 2018, Anthony DiComo of MLB.com writes. Whether to bring back Cabrera amounts to a $6.5MM decision for the Mets, who must choose between exercising the $8.5MM option or buying him out for $2MM. Cabrera, 32 in November, has posted solid production during his two years as a Met, including his respectable .273/.346/.422 batting line in 530 plate appearances this season. He has also played upward of 30 games this year at second base, shortstop (a position that now belongs to Amed Rosario) and third base.
- Phillies manager Pete Mackanin continues to lobby for the team’s front office to acquire starting pitching in the offseason. “I think it would behoove us to get a bona fide starting pitcher,” Mackanin said Wednesday, adding that “I think we need a stabilizer at the top” (via Todd Zolecki of MLB.com). The Phillies aren’t close enough to contention to vie for the absolute best soon-to-be free agent starters – Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta – notes Zolecki, who suggests that second-tier hurlers such as Alex Cobb, Lance Lynn and Jhoulys Chacin are more realistic possibilities.
- Adding a left-handed bat will be an offseason priority for the Orioles, especially with outfielder Seth Smith likely to depart via free agency, according to Kubatko. Smith and Chris Davis have been the only lefty-swinging regulars this year for a Baltimore team that has managed a middling .260/.313/.436 line against right-handed pitchers.
- Former Mets utilityman Joe McEwing has emerged as a potential successor to soon-to-be-ousted manager Terry Collins, per Mike Puma of the New York Post. McEwing, who played with the Mets from 2000-04, has been a coach in the White Sox’s organization since 2008. He served as their third base coach from 2012-16 before earning a promotion to bench coach prior to this season.