Cristian Guzman to miss at least first half of season due to “family issues”

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If you’re like me, you’ve been wondering why Cristian Guzman hasn’t signed a minor league deal with the Royals or something. Here’s the deal.

According to Bill Ladson of MLB.com, Guzman’s agent Stanley King said the infielder is planning to sit out the first half of the 2011 season due to family issues. King didn’t dismiss the possibility that the two-time All-Star could miss the entire season.

“Hopefully, Cristian will have the family issues sorted out in the next couple of months,” King said via phone.”

King added that Guzman received offers from two unspecified National League teams during the early part of spring training.

Guzman, who turns 33 later this month, was shipped from the Nationals to the Rangers at the trade deadline last season, but batted just .152 over 42 at-bats with Texas and also batted a quad injury. He was not included on the club’s postseason roster.

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.