Japanese team will “go ahead as planned” with Andruw Jones following domestic violence arrest

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Andruw Jones was arrested on Christmas morning and charged with battery following an incident in which he allegedly physically abused his wife and told her “I want to kill you.”

That came one week after Jones agreed to a one-year, $3.5 million contract to play in Japan for the Rakuten Eagles, who apparently have no plans to back out of the deal.

“We received a report it was a domestic fight which escalated,” Eagles president Yozo Tachibana said, via Reuters. “Unless there is any more big surprises, we intend to go ahead as planned with his contract.”

According to the police report Jones is accused of dragging his wife down a staircase by her ankles after she tried to get away from him, grabbing her neck, and threatening to kill her, among other things. The incident took place following a Christmas eve party and escalated when, according to the report, Jones’ wife asked him to help assemble a computer table.

Jones’ wife fled to her parents’ house and police described her as having “visible injuries.”

All of which makes Tachibana’s “unless there is any more big surprises” comment sound pretty awful, because it implies what’s already being reported wasn’t “big” enough.

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.