Cardinals fail in pursuit of Cubs catcher Dioner Navarro

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St. Louis may have its Yadier Molina fill-in.

According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the Cardinals are “in discussions to acquire” catcher Dioner Navarro via trade from the rival Cubs.

Navarro has posted an impressive .294/.370/.510 batting line with nine home runs and 20 RBI in 57 games this season for Chicago. He’s a big drop-off defensively from Molina, but you could say the same for just about any catcher in the major leagues.

Molina was placed on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday because of a sprained right knee.

Navarro can become a free agent this November. He’s owed about $750,000.

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UPDATE, 3:51 p.m. ET: Rosenthal says the Cardinals’ pursuit of Navarro has slowed because the two teams have been unable to agree on a suitable return package. A deal is now “doubtful.”

UPDATE, 3:35 p.m. ET: CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the Cardinals won’t be getting Navarro.

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.