OK, it was just the Governors’ Cup, the trophy given to the winner of the Triple-A level International League championship. But it is one thing for the Red Sox to celebrate in a dismal 2012 season. They hadn’t won the title in 28 years.
The Pawtucket Red Sox finished a sweep of the best-of-five series over the Charlotte Knights, the White Sox affiliate, on Thursday, winning 4-1.
Journeyman right-hander Nelson Figueroa picked up the win for the PawSox, allowing one run in six innings. Jeremy Hazelbaker, Juan Carlos Linares, Mike Rivera and Che-Hsuan Lin drove in the runs. The lone top prospect in the lineup, right fielder Bryce Brentz, went 0-for-4, but he did finish the series 4-for-12.
Game 2 of the series featured Zach Stewart shutting out his old team for six innings on his way to the win. Stewart pitched for Charlotte before being included in the Kevin Youkilis trade in June.
Now that the PawSox season is over, one imagines a few players will be added to Boston’s roster for Friday’s game. Stewart, Lin and Danny Valencia would be obvious additions.
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.