There have been random reports that Prince Fielder is talking to or at least is interested in talking to the Seattle Mariner. And, sure, it makes some amount of sense given the Mariners’ needs. But Jerry Crasnick spoke with two agents who have had contact with people in Seattle, and it sounds like there’s nothing to the speculation:
Two agents say the Mariners are claiming they only have $3-4 million left to spend on the roster this winter … According to one of those agents, Prince Fielder-to-Seattle speculation is “extremely overblown.”
Call me crazy, but I’m gonna guess that if there are more reports about Fielder and the Mariners, I’m going to assume it’s from Fielder’s agent trying to create the impression of a bidding war when, in fact, there is none. He’s done that a couple of times you know.
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.