The Red Sox: not really serious about Josh Hamilton

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The chatter out there about the Red Sox being interested in Josh Hamilton makes no sense to me. After all, what explains the big trade with the Dodgers over the summer other than massive dissatisfaction with the results of signing guys to $100M+ contracts?  I’ve been chalking it up to bored media and whatever it is in the air that has caused virtually every free agent and trade candidate to be linked to the Sox in some way.

Rob Bradford reports that, yeah, it’s probably something like that, because the Red Sox are really not all that into Hamilton:

According to a baseball source, reports of the Red Sox’ interest in free agent outfielder Josh Hamilton have been “overblown.”

While the Red Sox are in the market for a pair of outfielders this offseason, Hamilton — considered by most as the premier free agent on the market — doesn’t appear to be near the top of the team’s list of players it hopes to target. While the Sox have talked to the 31-year-old’s agent, Michael Moye, the communication was the same kind of due diligence done for a multitude of free agents.

Tires: kicked.  Cut of jib: inspected. That’s about it.

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.