FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal reported earlier in the week that the Mariners were considering offering Felix Hernandez a four-year, $100 million extension that would kick in after his current deal expires and cover the 2015-18 seasons. But if they were still weighing the possibility, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman says they might as well forget it:
Foxsports.com reported a few days ago that the Mariners were thinking about a four-year extension for $25 million a year, and while it’s not known whether such an offer has been made or even suggested yet, indications from people familiar with the discussions are that such a proposal would be a non-starter for the starter generally considered one of the best two or three in the game.
Heyman says it’d take a six-year offer to get Hernandez to the table now. But that wouldn’t make much sense for Seattle. The only reason to extend him this winter, when he still has two years left on his deal, is if he’d be willing to give them a discount. Since it seems that’s not in the cards, the Mariners should let 2013 play out and then try to hammer out something next winter.
Hernandez is due $39.5 million over the next two seasons before he becomes eligible for free agency after the 2014 campaign. That could be a huge winter if both Hernandez and Justin Verlander make it to free agency, but chances are that one or both will sign extensions before then.
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.