In the wake of yet another injury to a starting pitcher Monday, the Blue Jays have signed 49-year-old Jamie Moyer to a minor league contract.
Moyer requested and received his release from the Orioles last week after going 1-1 with a 1.69 ERA in three starts for Triple-A Norfolk. He was 2-5 with a 5.70 ERA before being let go by the Rockies last month. The Blue Jays will send him to Las Vegas for now, though what exactly he has to prove there is anyone’s guess.
The Jays are very shorthanded in the rotation with Brandon Morrow, Kule Drabek and Drew Hutchinson all on the DL, and Henderson Alvarez left Monday’s game against the Red Sox with a sore elbow. If Moyer isn’t of use immediately, he probably won’t look any better in a week or two.
So, it might be that the minor league deal is just a technicality and that he’ll be added to the roster to start this weekend. There isn’t any other reason to have him around.
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.