When he wasn’t busy taking shots at Jose Reyes and tweeting about how the fans at last night’s game weren’t loud enough Jimmy Rollins told Todd Zolecki of MLB.com that he won’t accept a “hometown discount” to remain with the Phillies after this season.
Rollins has spent his entire professional career with the Phillies after they picked him in the second round of the 1996 draft, but will be eligible for free agency this winter following a six-year, $46.5 million contract.
When asked about possibly of using the postseason to increase his free agent stock, Rollins replied:
If that happens, that happens. I mean, it can help some, but I am who I am, postseason, regular season, regardless. When free agency comes about, people are going to pay you for what your numbers reflect, not just for a three-week snapshot.
That’s a refreshing take considering all the media members who focus on how single-game performances from players in October supposedly “made him millions” or “cost him millions.”
Zolecki reports that Rollins “would like a five-year contract, although it seems unlikely the Phillies would offer him that.” In his MVP-winning 2007 season Rollins played all 162 games and hit .296 with an .875 OPS. In the four seasons since then he’s missed 126 games and hit .261 with a .737 OPS. Toss in the fact that he’ll be 33 years old next month and a five-year commitment would be incredibly risky for any team.
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.