Carl Crawford heckled in return to Tampa Bay, says Rays partied more than Red Sox

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Craig already wrote about Carl Crawford’s return to Tampa Bay being like seeing an ex-girlfriend at a party, but it’s also worth noting that many of his ex-boyfriends didn’t treat Crawford all that well.

There was a solid amount of booing as he stepped to the plate for the first time, although eventually the rest of the crowd drowned it out with cheers and applause.

And as Crawford told reporters after the game, the crowd around him in left field was particularly harsh, calling him a traitor for leaving the Rays and mocking his poor numbers with the Red Sox.

Before the game Crawford was asked to compare his time in Tampa Bay with his early impression of Boston and replied:

It’s all baseball. But it’s a little different. It’s more a younger team [in Tampa], so it was more like party central all the time. [In Boston] it’s a little more calmer, a little more conservative. That’s probably the biggest difference.

That and about $100 million in payroll.

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.