ESPN’s Jorge Arangure tweets that, while nothing is imminent, the Mets, Phillies and Orioles are “in on” Fernando Rodney.
Rodney likely wants to close as opposed to serving as someone’s setup man, which makes Baltimore and Philly better options than New York, where K-Rod has the gig. Of course, if he thinks of himself as a Closer with a capital “C” he likely wants more money than a team like Baltimore should be paying for any single bullpen arm. A winning team, like coffee, is for closers. A team that’s likely to lose around 90 games doesn’t really need one.
As for Philly: haven’t their fans had enough bullpen-induced heart attacks already? Sure, Rodney did well last year, but he continued to be all over the place control-wise. If a butterfly flaps his wings in South America, Rodney could go from the single blown save he had last year to numbers that are positively Lidgean.
Rodney has great gas, and he’s worth a spot in someone’s pen, but I wouldn’t anoint him my ninth inning man, nor would I pay him the dollars that usually goes with that title.
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.