The Reds announced this morning that left-handed reliever Sean Marshall has been activated from the 15-day disabled list. Curtis Partch, a right-handed reliever, was optioned down to Triple-A Louisville in a corresponding roster move.
Marshall was limited to just 17 appearances last season due to shoulder problems and had more issues during spring training. However, the 31-year-old has made steady progress since, including a pair of minor league rehab appearances with Triple-A Louisville.
Marshall has been one of the game’s best relievers when healthy in recent seasons, posting a 2.44 ERA in 247 appearances since 2010. He’ll likely pitch in a set-up capacity for the Reds, but Bryan Price could give him some save chances along with Jonathan Broxton until Aroldis Chapman is ready to return from the disabled list.
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.