Due to the vagaries of geography and time zones and stuff, we easterners don’t get to hear a lot about what happens in Seattle. Oh, we get the big stories: Ichiro is good, Steve Largent has sure hands, the Denny Party has found a new place to settle — but the little stuff often escapes our attention. Stuff like just how bad Carlos Silva is and just how much Mariners fans hate him.
How much do they hate him? The Mariners just traded for baseball’s problem child, and as of 3PM this afternoon, Seattle Times readers are 91%-9% in favor of the deal. Granted, this is not a scientific sampling, but if anything, the sorts of people who click on Internet polls should skew more in favor of the “Milton-Bradley-is-a-bum” talk radio crowd than it does towards people who analyze baseball objectively and thus might realize that Bradley has some basic value. Heck, I’d at least expect this to be a 60-40 thing.
At some point, some Cubs fans are going to try and talk themselves into believing that having Carlos Silva on the team is a good thing. Before they do, they might want to talk to some Mariners fans first, because they prefer Bradley at a ten-to-one clip.
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.