Brandon Beachy playing catch comfortably from 90 feet, aiming to return around mid-June

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Braves right-hander Brandon Beachy is nearly five months removed from Tommy John elbow surgery. And everything has gone according to plan so far.

According to MLB.com’s Mark Bowman, Beachy is playing catch regularly from a distance of 90 feet without experiencing any sort of lingering pain or discomfort in his right elbow and is aiming to return to the Atlanta starting rotation near the middle of June. We’d probably bet on early-to-mid July, but you can’t fault the 26-year-old for being optimistic.

Beachy had a league-leading 2.00 ERA and 0.96 WHIP through 81 innings in 2012 when he blew out his elbow during an interleague game with the Orioles. He’ll be a nice midseason addition for the 2013 Braves.

Report: Orioles interested in Alex Cobb

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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.