None of this will come as a surprise to the HBT readership because it has been public knowledge for weeks, but the Cubs and Padres finally announced in a joint press release Wednesday night that Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod are headed to Chicago and that Josh Byrnes has officially been promoted to the position of general manager back in San Diego.
The Padres will get a PTBNL from the Cubs as compensation — probably a low-level prospect.
Hoyer is being given the title of “executive vice president and general manager” in Chicago, while McLeod will be called the “director of scouting and player development.” They’ll both be introduced at a press conference Monday at Wrigley Field and will report directly to new Cubs president Theo Epstein.
As for Byrnes, he becomes the ninth general manager in the history of the Padres franchise.
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.