Fausto Carmona agreed to participate in a work program in exchange for false identity charges being dropped in the Dominican Republic, but the story is hardly over.
Carmona has yet to receive clearance for a visa and Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that the man now known as Roberto Hernandez Heredia has agreed to have his contract restructured by the Indians.
No word yet on the specifics because the Indians are so far declining to comment, but Carmona/Heredia was set to earn $7 million this season and his contract also includes a $9 million option for 2013 and a $14 million option for 2014.
According to Heyman the restructuring involves eliminating one of those options, which presumably must be 2014. And regardless of whatever his restructured salary is, Carmona/Heredia won’t make any money until he returns to the United States and is removed from the restricted list.
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.