Sean Burnett loses his arbitration with the Nats

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Bill Ladson tweets that Nats reliever Sean Burnett lost his arbitration. He’ll make $775,000 in 2010. He had asked for $925,000. Between this and the Brian Bruney arbitration, the Nats bullpen is gettin’ shelled before the first pitch has even been thrown.

In other news, I’m noticing that every arbitration result has been reported first by MLB.com beat reporters. There are a lot of good ones over there, and in the grand scheme of things this isn’t that important, but I wonder if the teams are shooting the results to them first.  Despite the fact that they’re paid by Major League Baseball, MLB.com reporters aren’t usually given any special access.

Like I said, this is no big deal. It’s just one of those things I’m noticing while waiting around for Tiger Woods to pretend to be sorry for living like a rock star and getting brutally assaulted by his wife.

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.