Twins sticking with Tsuyoshi Nishioka … for now

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Tsuyoshi Nishioka just completed the worst three-game series I’ve ever seen from a major leaguer, going 0-for-12 at the plate, committing three errors in the field, and making several other obvious defensive miscues that weren’t officially ruled errors.

He also played horribly at Triple-A prior to being called up and was plenty awful in Minnesota last season, leading fans and media members to wonder if the Twins could stick with him for even one more game.

They can and they will, according to general manager Terry Ryan:

He had a very difficult game yesterday and we all saw it but the only way to find out how he’ll respond up here is to play him. It didn’t to go so well so now we’ll have a decision to make once [Trevor] Plouffe is healthy and ready to come off. So we’ll see how Plouffe responds in the next few days and go from there.

In other words, Nishioka is going to stick around until Trevor Plouffe comes off the disabled list and then the Twins will send him back to Triple-A. Or maybe just outright release him and eat the $3 million he’s owed next season.

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.