With Joe Mauer and Drew Butera banged up, it was revealed Friday that the Twins were calling up Double-A catcher Chris Herrmann to help out behind the plate. That decision, however, isn’t sitting well with veteran Rene Rivera, who was Triple-A Rochester’s primary catcher this year:
It seems Rivera thought he was promised the callup should the Twins add an extra catcher.
Neither Rivera nor Herrmann was on the 40-man roster, so that had nothing to do with the choice. It likely came down to the fact that Herrmann is something of a prospect as a potential backup, while Rivera is just a journeyman who probably wasn’t going to be back in the organization next year anyway.
Still, Rivera is the second scorned Twin this year to take to twitter to voice his displeasure with the organization. Former prospect Dan Osterbrock did so in May after the Twins misdiagnosed his arm problems and released him.
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.