This has been assumed in recent days, especially with the club reportedly deep in talks with free agent reliever Brandon Lyon, but in comments to Anthony Sulla-Heffinger of the New York Post earlier today, Giants general manager Brian Sabean all but ruled out Brian Wilson’s return to the club.
“I’m going to be brutally honest as I always am, I don’t [think Wilson will return],” Sabean said during an event in Midtown on Saturday. “In this case, where you are getting a second Tommy John…it’s the type of rehab where he’s still not further up along to judge exactly where he may be able to come back in major league fashion, let alone as a closer.”
Wilson had the second Tommy John surgery of his career last April and was non-tendered by the Giants following the season. Sabean is still open to bringing him back on a one-year, incentive-laden contract, but he expects that the bearded reliever will be “more in the mindset to do that with somebody else, than coming back with us.”
Wilson had a private workout with the Mets last weekend, but the club reportedly came away unimpressed. Still, they haven’t closed the door on offering him a major league deal.
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.