As he nears retirement Chipper Jones’ greatness is hopeful apparent enough that we don’t really need to cite any new stats to make the case, but here’s a pretty good one courtesy of Capitol Avenue Club blogger Ben Duronio:
Among all the hitters in baseball history with at least 10,000 career plate appearances Jones is the seventh player to top a .300 batting average, .400 on-base percentage, and .500 slugging percentage.
Here’s a list of everyone in the .300/.400/.500 club: Jones, Frank Thomas, Stan Musial, Mel Ott, Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker.
And if you drop the plate appearance minimum down to 9,000 the club adds Ted Williams, Manny Ramirez, Jimmie Foxx, Lou Gehrig, Todd Helton, and Rogers Hornsby.
Jones, who’s not in the Braves’ lineup for today’s regular season finale, has hit .303 with a .401 OBP and .529 SLG in 10,613 plate appearances.
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.