Eric Wedge on verge of becoming Mariners’ new manager

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News that Bobby Valentine and John Gibbons are both out of the running for Seattle’s managerial opening has people starting to connect some dots suggesting that the Mariners are leaning very heavily toward Eric Wedge as their new manager.

Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com writes that “all signs point toward” Wedge getting the job and Buster Olney noted earlier today that Wedge “did very, very well in his interview.”

Based on the list of guys they interviewed the Mariners are clearing looking for someone with previous experience managing in the majors and Wedge certainly fits that description, going 561-573 (.495) in seven seasons as the Indians’ manager prior to being fired at the end of 2009.

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.