Blue Jays release Mark Teahen, eat $5.5 million salary

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UPDATE: As expected, Teahen and his $5.5 million contract passed through waivers unclaimed and today the Blue Jays released him. They’re on the hook for his entire salary.

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Toronto needed to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for newly signed reliever Darren Oliver and did so by designating Mark Teahen for assignment.

Teahen went from the White Sox to the Blue Jays in the eight-player swap built around Colby Rasmus and Edwin Jackson in July, with Toronto agreeing to assume the $7 million or so left on his contract as part of the value received by Chicago.

He’s still owed $5.5 million this season and Teahen is coming off a career-worst year in which he hit .200 with a .573 OPS in 78 games, so it’s pretty safe to assume his contract will clear waivers.

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.