Red Sox shortstop Stephen Drew was diagnosed with a concussion 10 days ago after getting beaned in the batting helmet by a pitch. And the 30-year-old has not made a whole lot of tangible progress since.
Scott Lauber — Red Sox beat writer for the Boston Herald — reports that Drew “has been cleared only to lightly play catch, not to take batting practice or ramp up his physical activity.” Which prompted Red Sox manager John Farrell to acknowledge Sunday morning in Fort Myers, Florida that “the window is narrowing” on Drew’s chances of opening the regular season as a member of the active 25-man roster.
Drew has been in contact with Dr. Michael Collins, a concussion specialist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. But no amount of advice or treatment can help curb the symptoms. It’s all about rest.
“This is one of those things that time has got to be given for those symptoms to subside,” Farrell said.
The Red Sox will probably feature Jose Iglesias as their starting shortstop until Drew is ready.
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.