Does Crawford want out of Tampa?

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Thumbnail image for crawford.jpgAccording to a report from Mike Silva’s New York Baseball Digest, Carl Crawford is “livid” over management’s decision to pick up his $10 million option for next season and now wants out of Tampa.



Says a source with the knowledge of the situation:


“He wants out of Tampa bad. He had a handshake
agreement with management that they would renegotiate the contract
instead of picking up the option and they went ahead and did it anyway.
He’s pissed beyond belief.”



Crawford, 28, signed a four-year,
$15.25 million extension with the Rays in 2005, with club options for two additional years. He is expected to be among the most coveted free agents
next winter.




While not impossible, it would be irresponsible to give this rumor too much validity. Silva deserves credit for getting the Wally Backman-Brooklyn Cyclones story right,
but he also found an MLB executive who said
the following about “Moneyball” and
advanced metrics
:


Among other sewage that has oozed to the surface is the erroneous
belief that statistics are the end-all in baseball today, a myth
perpetrated by the garbage called “MoneyBall.” Moneyball geniuses have
flopped like DePodesta, Ricciardi, and even the infamous Billy Beane
whose exploits have all lacked a World Series trophy. It is all a tool
to be used by the uninitiated. I’ll take a good scout and player
development people anytime; the statistics are very secondary. How do
you account a .220 hitter for being the hero of the World Series or a
guy who hits three home runs a year wins the pennant clincher with a
home run? Pitchers often get the best of hitters in the playoffs. There
are a million examples of things going against the logic of statistical
analysis.


Let’s just say his “sources” might not know what they’re talking about.


Report: Orioles interested in Alex Cobb

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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.