Holy moly! In addition to the irregular heartbeat, Dusty Baker suffered a mini-stroke. Via Mark Sheldon, here’s the statement from the Reds:
While in Chicago on Wednesday, Reds manager Dusty Baker was admitted to Northwestern Memorial Hospital and diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, commonly referred to as an irregular heartbeat. As he was being discharged on Friday, he suffered a mini-stroke and immediately was treated by the hospital’s stroke team, which minimized the effects of the stroke.
Dusty returned to Cincinnati on Sunday, and his condition has improved dramatically. His Cincinnati neurologist, Dr. Joseph Broderick, and cardiologists, Dr. Dean Kereiakes and Dr. Daniel Beyerbach, expect Dusty to make a full recovery and return to the dugout, possibly as soon as the season’s final series next week in St. Louis.
Damn. Here’s hoping the best for Dusty.
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.