Alex Cobb to undergo season-ending surgery on rib cage

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Rays right-hander Alex Cobb was sent to the hospital after his most recent outing due to an odd numbness in his throwing hand.

Doctors found nothing wrong initially, but further tests this week revealed “blockage” near the first rib on the right side of his body.

According to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times, Cobb will have it all fixed through a season-ending surgical procedure Friday at the Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, Texas.

Cobb, 23, posted a 3.42 ERA and 37/21 K/BB ratio over his first 52 2/3 major league innings this season. He had a 1.87 ERA and a 70/16 K/BB ratio in 67 1/3 frames at Triple-A Durham before his promotion.

The Rays are fully expecting Cobb to be ready for the start of spring training next February.

Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto reportedly asks to be traded

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Craig Mish of MLB Network Radio is reporting that Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto has requested a trade out of Miami. Jon Heyman is characterizing it as Realmuto telling the team that he “wouldn’t mind” a trade.

Either way, Realmuto has no power to force a trade. This isn’t the NBA or something. Still, it’s evidence of just how dreary a prospect remaining in Miami is for Marlins veterans in the wake of trades that sent Giancarlo Stanton to New York, Marcell Ozuna to St. Louis.

Realmuto, who will turn 27 just before the 2018 season, hit .278/.332/.451 with 17 homers, 65 RBI, and eight steals over 141 games this past season. He only has three years of service time and is arbitration eligible for the first time this offseason. He made just $562K in the 2017 and will get a big raise this year, but he’s still going to be underpaid based on his production. If the Marlins wanted to trade him, they’d get a nice return. Why they would want to trade him, I have no idea.

Expect more of this sort of thing as the Marlins slash payroll and make it clear that their immediate priorities are more about saving money and less about winning baseball games. Which may or may not be a valid goal for the team’s new owners, but is certainly a letdown for baseball players and fans.