Garciaparra looking to continue career

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Free agent Nomar Garciaparra, widely expected to retire after serving as a bench player for the A’s last year, told WEEI’s Lou Merloni that he’d like to continue his career in 2010.
Garciaparra, 36, weighed retirement last year before taking a $1.5 million deal from Oakland. He played in 65 games and hit .281/.314/.388 with three homers and 16 RBI in 160 at-bats. His last good season came in 2006, when he hit .303/.367/.505 in 122 games for the Dodgers.
It’s doubtful that Garciaparra will receive any guaranteed money at this point of his career. If he knows where he wants to play — likely somewhere close to his California home — he could find a minor league contract and a chance to compete for a bench spot. No one will take him seriously as a regular, though.

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.