Marlins check out Mike Lowell's debut

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Thumbnail image for Mike Lowell headshot.jpgIt may be nothing more than that, but according to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald, the Marlins were among teams in attendance to check out Mike Lowell’s exhibition debut against the Orioles on Monday.

According to Spencer, the Marlins have at least discussed the idea internally, though reacquiring the 36-year-old would likely be a backup plan. The Marlins are currently weighing if Logan Morrison or Gaby Sanchez are ready to play first base, or if Rule 5 selection Jorge Jimenez is a possibility to start at third base. If recovered from December thumb surgery, Lowell could be a reasonable alternative at third, with Jorge Cantu moving back to first.

Lowell, of course, played seven years in Florida and is the franchise’s all-time leader in home runs (143).

The Red Sox will likely have to eat the majority of Lowell’s remaining $12 million salary in any deal.
 

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.