The free agent DH market is rough, kids. If you’re old, used to hit well and can’t field anymore the pickings are slim for you. So slim that you’re calling teams rather than them calling you. To wit: Ken Davidoff of Newsday reports that Vlad Guerrero and Raul Ibanez have called the Yankees inquiring about the DH job.
I imagine this happens more than we know, but it is kind of depressing to hear that kind of thing. And to think that their reps each called Dave Dombrowski within ten minutes of hearing about Victor Martinez’s injury yesterday. It’s like some game of musical chairs or some desperate kind of land grab or something.
Anyway, I don’t see any value whatsoever either Guerrero or Ibanez can bring the Yankees that internal option Jorge Vazquez or some rotation of regular starters taking a turn or two a week at DH can’t bring. Indeed, Vazquez or A-Rod/Jeter/Teixeira/Swisher/Whoever DH is bound to be way better.
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.