Holden Kushner of CSN Washington writes today that there is little if any chance that the Nats are going to bring back Nyjer Morgan or Adam Dunn next year.
I get Morgan — that bit could have been placed in that last post about obvious news — but I’m still wondering why Washington doesn’t seem to be considering an Adam Dunn extension.
The only thing that has changed since the trade deadline at which Mike Rizzo appeared to place a really, really high value on Dunn is the Strasburg injury. I can understand how that could possibly change the team’s view of it’s chances in 2011, but you still have to score runs, right? I understand the defense thing, but it just astounds me that a player with the production, consistency, amiability and durability of Adam Dunn will have to go begging for work as a free agent again.
One more bit of weirdness from the article:
Which veteran with an expiring contract should be back? Let’s start and finish with Josh Willingham. “The Hammer” was on pace for his first 25 home run season after blasting 24 in 2009 . . .
Wait, Josh Willingham’s nickname is “The Hammer”? He wouldn’t do it because he’s a nice man, but I’m pretty sure Hank Aaron could have Willingham killed for that. Either way, if that really is Willingham’s nickname, I’m going to start calling Marcus Thames “The Yankee Clipper.”
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.