Metrodome collapse impacts TwinsFest and over 300 college and high school baseball games

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Fortunately for the Twins they moved out of the Metrodome before it collapsed, but news that the stadium will be out of commission until at least March has a big impact on the local amateur baseball scene in Minnesota.

More than 300 college and high school games that were scheduled to be played at the Metrodome will need new venues, including 16 home games for the University of Minnesota’s team.

Beyond that the Twins are now scrambling to find a new location for their annual TwinsFest event, which draws more than 30,000 fans each January and raised over $300,000 for charity last year. Their new home, Target Field, doesn’t have enough indoor space to support the usual setup, so the Twins will have to either scale back the event or find a new indoor venue.

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.