Cubs television analyst Bob Brenly is drawing interest from the Diamondbacks, with Arizona team president Derrick Hall saying as much during a radio interview yesterday while coyly using the code name “Lob Lenly.”
Brenly is currently announcing playoff games for TBS, but speculation about the Diamondbacks making a run at their former manager has been prevalent since August and the team officially firing their old announcing duo of Daron Sutton and Mark Grace got rumors rolling again.
His contract with the Cubs expired at the end of the season, but back in August when Brenly was asked about his contract status and the Diamondbacks rumors he called it “rain delay filler” and replied that “I have every confidence that we’ll get something done” to remain with the Cubs.
White Sox television analyst Steve Stone was also briefly linked to the Diamondbacks, but said yesterday that he’s staying in Chicago as Hawk Harrelson’s partner.
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.