The Yankees’ search for a manager continues. According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Yankees asked the Athletics for permission to interview skipper Bob Melvin, but the A’s denied them.
Melvin, 56, signed an extension with the Athletics at the end of September that will keep him in Oakland through 2019. Since being named interim manager in the middle of the 2011 season, Melvin has led the A’s to a 537-534 (.501) regular season record and three postseason appearances.
The Yankees decided not to bring back Joe Girardi to manage after the club lost in seven games to the Astros in the ALCS. GM Brian Cashman said that he wasn’t happy with Girardi’s ability to connect with younger players.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reported that the Yankees also reached out to former Tigers manager Brad Ausmus, but Ausmus intends to take a year off from managing. Other candidates that the Yankees are considering include ESPN broadcaster and former player Aaron Boone, Giants bench coach Hensley Meulens, former Indians manager and current Blue Jays advisor of player development Eric Wedge, and former player Jerry Hairston Jr. YES Network broadcasters and former players David Cone and John Flaherty have also expressed interest in the managing job with the Yankees.
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.