Astros pull Wandy Rodriguez back, no deal with Rockies

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The Rockies claimed left-hander Wandy Rodriguez off waivers on Tuesday, but trade negotiations didn’t get very far and the 32-year-old has now been pulled back by the Astros. This according to Richard Justice, columnist with the Houston Chronicle.

Rodriguez cannot be placed back on waivers and will finish out the 2011 season with the last-place ‘Stros.

Look for talks to heat up again this winter, when the Astros’ front office will have the luxury of drawing offers from all 29 other teams — not just the Rockies. Houston should be able to add a few more quality youngsters to their improving farm system.

Rodriguez is owed $10 million in 2012, $13 million in 2013, and another $13 million via a vesting option for 2014. He’s a quality starting pitcher, sporting a 3.35 ERA since the start of 2008, but the Astros aren’t really planning to compete for several years and would like to free themselves of another major salary commitment.

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.