MLB to test “advanced replay systems” at games next week

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For all Bud Selig’s talk regarding how supposedly no one complains about the lack of expanded instant replay it sure sounds like MLB is planning to … well, expand instant replay.

Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports reports that MLB will “test two different advanced replay systems live during games starting next week, and if they prove accurate they could precede an overhaul of the system for the 2013 season.”

Yankee Stadium and Citi Field will be the ballparks used for what Passan says are “a radar-based system and a camera-based system, both similar to the one used in tennis for down-the-line fair-or-foul calls.”

And despite Selig’s stubborn, constant insistence to the contrary, Passan writes that among owners “there is a groundswell of support to at least quell the perception that baseball is ignoring the available technologies.”

Or, you know, what a huge percentage of the sport’s fan base has been saying for years now (while Selig apparently wasn’t listening).

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.