David Price has people chasing him, "Hard Day's Night"-style

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The Nashville Scene has a nice catching-up-with-the-former-BMOC article about Rays’ pitcher David Price up today. Pretty standard stuff except for the opening anecdote:

“Last year when we were in Philadelphia, a teammate and I were going
to Ruth’s Chris and two guys ran after our cab for about three miles,”
Price says. “Then one of the guys tried to sit with us at our table.
The manager came up and asked, ‘Are you expecting a third to your
party?’ I was like, ‘No.’ He said, ‘I didn’t think so.’ When he went
back up there the guy had already run out the door.

“He was in black sweatpants and a black hoodie and he just wanted to get my autograph. … That was a little weird.”

I would bet my life that it was some baseball card or autograph dealer. Those guys totally weird me out. I used to regularly stay at the same Cleveland hotel where visiting players would stay when they played the Indians. The normal fans, the kids and the groupies were all actually pretty respectful. They’d hang around, sure, but they usually wouldn’t go after guys or invade the ballplayers’ space.

The dealers, though, were nuts. And you knew they were dealers because they would be giving their business cards out to everyone while they waited for Ryan Freel or whoever to emerge from an elevator. And even if they didn’t have the cards they all looked like Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons, so it was pretty obvious.

Stalking David Price. What has this world come to?

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.