It’s a couple of days old, but this article about the sea change in clubhouse food (out: hot dogs, burgers, pizza and candy; in: lean meats and vegetables and stuff) is pretty interesting reading. The two most interesting things about it:
(1) that in an age where athletes are going to great lengths to monitor their health and optimize their performance, junk food in the clubhouse still remains, in large part, a given; and
(2) that being “the son of Barry Zito’s chiropractor” can get you a job cooking for the Giants. At this point one would think that any connection to Barry Zito would be a detriment, as opposed to an advantage, in trying to get the Giants to like you. I mean really, haven’t they already done him enough favors?
Unless . . . nah. Brian Sabean isn’t smart enough to pull off the old “your son gets a job in exchange for there being an ‘unfortunate complication’ during Zito’s next spinal adjustment” trick.
MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the Orioles have interest in free agent right-hander Alex Cobb, who rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Rays earlier this week. Cobb was most recently linked to the Cubs, who reportedly reached out to his agent during the GM Meetings and garnered mutual interest from the righty, but nothing appears to be set in stone yet.
Cobb, 30, completed his sixth season with the Rays in 2017. He went 12-10 in 29 starts and turned in a respectable 3.66 ERA, 6.4 SO/9 and career-best 2.2 BB/9 in 179 1/3 innings. Despite losing a couple of weeks to turf toe, he remained healthy for most of the year and showed no signs of the elbow issues that robbed him of the majority of his 2015-2016 campaigns.
It’s still fairly early for any deals to come to fruition, but Morosi notes that the Orioles seem to be focused on bulking up their rotation during the first few months of the offseason. It’ll take more than a healthy Alex Cobb to right that ship, however: Orioles’ starters earned a collective 5.70 ERA and 5.5 fWAR in 2017, good for worst and fourth-worst marks in the league, respectively. Behind Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy (and perhaps Gabriel Ynoa/Miguel Castro), they still need three viable starters to compete in 2018. Whether or not they can afford to spring for a single starter with Cobb’s price tag (four years, $48 million, per MLB Trade Rumors) remains to be seen.