The Padres want to sign Carlos Quentin and Huston Street, not trade them

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Carlos Quentin and Huston Street are two of the most popular trade chips around, so the assumption has been that the Padres will deal them before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. Not so, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.

According to Heyman, the Padres now want to sign both Quentin and Street to multi-year deals. Both players have expressed a desire to stay in San Diego, because, well, who the heck wouldn’t if the price is right?  And while the ownership situation is unsettled at the moment, current owner John Moores and presumptive new owner Ron Fowler have given the OK to try to sign them.

Every report must be taken with a grain of salt at this time of year, so it’s possible the Padres are floating this out there in order to raise the asking price among prospective suitors. Quentin is a San Diego native, so the Padres may feel some extra incentive to get something done with him, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right course of action for a franchise in rebuilding mode.

Quentin, an impending free agent, is batting .268/.394/.512 with eight home runs, 21 RBI and a .905 OPS in 37 games played this season. Street has compiled a microscopic 1.07 ERA and 34/8 K/BB ratio over 25 1/3 innings this season while going a perfect 15-for-15 in save opportunities. His contract includes a $500,000 buyout on a $9 million mutual option for 2013.

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.