All of us are so starved for actual Brewer news that I am reduced to writing about rumors of rumors. But Lance Lynn is definitely a player of interest to Milwaukee, and so we will look at his status and who still has interest in the erstwhile Cardinals’ pitcher.
It almost feels like the Orioles should just concede that this season is a rebuild, what with the Yankees putting together a Murderers’ Row like the ‘61 edition of the team (can Judge and Stanton hit more homers than Ruth and Gehrig’s total in ‘27? Or than Maris and Mantle in ‘61?) and the Red Sox building a very solid, young competing squad. But that would not be especially good for attendance, so they’ll probably go after a starter, hang on to Manny Machado for his final Orioles’ season (unless he becomes a Yankee), and hope that they can get enough on the mound to squeak into a Wild Card spot. So their interest in Lynn is most likely genuine at this point, unless they get an overwhelming offer to deal Machado.
The Rangers make sense, too, as they are looking to compete with the most-likely-resurgent Angels for a Wild Card spot (I’m conceding the division to the Astros, like everyone else). They most likely will lose Yu Darvish so adding Lynn makes sense. If they can lure Yu away from the all-out assault on his services from the Twins, then any Lynn interest would disappear.
The Cubs are linked to any and all top level free agents, and apparently will sign about seven starting pitchers this off season. They are also considered front runners for Jake Arrieta (at 4 years, $110 mil, which doesn’t sound unreasonable), but it seems to me that they should be paying much more attention to their bullpen. I guess they can afford pretty much anything, though.
So how serious is the Brewers’ interest? The addition of Lynn would solidify the rotation going into next season, one in which the Brewers could build on last year’s success. The good news on Jimmy Nelson’s recovery process would seem to make a signing of Lynn (or the signing of Alex Cobb) more, rather than less, likely, as getting Nelson back with any significant amount of the season left would leave the Crew with considerable depth in the rotation (Lynn, Zach Davies, Chase Anderson, Jhoulys Chacin, Brandon Woodruff, Brent Suter, Yovani Gallardo, Aaron Wilkerson, Josh Hader, Junior Guerra, and Nelson). Not all of those pitchers are necessarily viable alternatives, but they are all pitchers that could start games.
My preference is still to add an ace, and either trading for Chris Archer or signing Arrieta would seem the most attainable. Beating the Cubs reported $110 mil offer wouldn’t break the team’s salary bank, would make the team better (presumably), and really excite the fan base. A trade for Archer would have the same effect, although giving up prospects might dampen that enthusiasm. The opinion of the fan base isn’t the most important thing, but it wouldn’t hurt. Might help pay for Arrieta’s deal. A Lance Lynn signing wouldn’t have the same impact, but it would have some, and it would make the rotation stronger.
For now, we sit and wait...