David Price gave the Rays a bit of a scare last night, as he made an early exit from his start against the Tigers due to lower back tightness. Price allowed two runs over his first seven innings and was throwing his warm-up pitches for the eighth before leaving the game.
The good news for the Rays is that it doesn’t appear to be anything serious. According to Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times, the southpaw recalled Jered Weaver’s recent back injury and simply didn’t want to risk making things worse.
“It’s just something I want to be careful with,” Price said. “I’ll be fine.”
Price holds a 2.92 ERA and 97/35 K/BB ratio over 104 2/3 innings this season and is currently tied with Rangers’ left-hander Matt Harrison for the American League lead with 11 wins. He fully intends to make his next start.
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.