The Orioles can’t take much more Kevin Gregg

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If not for his contract, Kevin Gregg probably wouldn’t have lasted the spring in an Orioles uniform. Even as is, one wonders if he’ll survive the month of April.

Gregg allowed three runs in one-third of an inning of relief Sunday, walking two and hitting a batter in the process. He has a 12.86 ERA after three appearances, one of which was a loss to the Yankees.

The Orioles kept Gregg hoping they’d be able to dump a portion of his salary in a trade later this season, but the idea of a contender wanting the former closer appears to be a long shot at best. At this point, the Orioles would almost certainly be better off giving Pat Neshek a look in his place.

Gregg is in the second year of a two-year, $12 million deal he received after saving 37 games for the Blue Jays in 2010. He had a 4.37 ERA and 22 saves in 29 chances for the Orioles last year.

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.