Rockies expected to move Aaron Cook to the bullpen

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Aaron Cook has the distinction of being the Rockies’ all-time leader in wins, but none of that matters as the team’s playoff chances continue to fade by the minute.

A team source tells Troy Renck of the Denver Post that the Rockies are likely to move Cook to the bullpen, clearing a spot for Jhoulys Chacin to re-enter the starting rotation on Sunday.

Cook has been pretty bad all season, posting a 5.34 ERA through 21 starts, but he has reached a new level of awful lately, allowing five runs in each of his last three starts and failing to escape the fifth inning in any of them. He was chased after just three innings in a 10-0 loss to the Giants last night.

Just recently, we heard that the Rockies were “quietly shopping” the veteran right-hander. Cook is owed $9.5 million next season and has an $11 million option or $500,000 buyout for 2012. He would receive an additional $1 million if he is traded. There’s still a chance that could happen this month.

Chacin, 22, was sent back to the minors late last month shortly after Jorge De La Rosa returned from the disabled list. He has a 4.04 ERA overall this season and was very impressive during his time in the rotation, compiling a 3.67 ERA and a 74/34 K/BB ratio over 12 starts. He quite simply gives the team the best chance to win right now.  

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.