Former Yankees prospect Brien Taylor arrested for cocaine trafficking

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Baseball fans who walked the Earth in awareness in 1991 know who Brien Taylor is.  The number one overall pick of the draft, taken by the New York Yankees, and expected to be anchoring their rotation within a year or two.

As most folks know, his career flamed out not long after he severely injured his shoulder in an offseason fight.  Since then he’s meandered through life, worked odd jobs and has occasionally popped up in the news due to various legal troubles.

Now he has a far bigger set of legal troubles than he has ever faced.  This, via Deadspin, from the JD News in Jacksonville, North Carolina:

Taylor is charged with two counts each of trafficking in cocaine by possession, trafficking in cocaine by sell, trafficking in cocaine by deliver, trafficking in cocaine by manufacture, trafficking in cocaine by transport, and felony maintaining a vehicle.

He is also charged with one count each of possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver cocaine and sell and deliver cocaine.

Not cool.

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.