Carlos Pena is gonna get traded

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Jon Heyman says that Cubs first baseman Carlos Pena “will almost surely be moved” this week.

It’s the same old story with Pena: lots of pop, low average. He could represent an upgrade for a handful of teams and probably won’t cost a ton give that he’s playing on a one-year deal. It’s a weird one-year deal too, in that part of the $10 million he’s making is deferred, which is something you don’t see too often on such a short contract.
My guess: he’s one of those trades that come with no warning on the day of the deadline while I’m trying to write three other posts, it slips through the cracks and then in two months someone says “Pena beat the Cubs with a homer” and I totally forgot that he was ever traded.

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.