Mariano Rivera: center fielder

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I want to say I heard someone talking about this once before, but in the New York Times today there’s a story about how Mariano Rivera thinks he’d be a pretty nifty center fielder.  And about how he’d love a chance to get in at least one game in center before he’s done.

Joe Girardi actually entertains the idea from time to time, but the reality is that there is unlikely to be any truly meaningless game for the Yankees before Rivera retitres. Indeed, it’s exceedingly likely that Rivera’s last career game will be a playoff game of some type.

Personally, I’m trying to remember ever seeing Rivera run.  I guess he covers first base on a grounder to the right side once in a while.  But I bet Peter Bourjos runs more in one game than Rivera has in his whole career.  Not that I think it wouldn’t be fun to see him try.

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.