A few early morning free agent rumors from Jon Morosi of MLB.com…
- The Rangers “have had preliminary contact” with right-hander Alex Cobb’s representatives, Morosi writes. Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported earlier this month that the starter-needy Rangers covet Cobb, one of the top hurlers on the open market. Cobb returned in earnest from 2015 Tommy John surgery last season to turn in a career-best 179 1/3 innings of 3.66 ERA pitching, with 6.42 K/9, 2.21 BB/9 and a 47.8 percent groundball rate.
- The Cardinals and Rockies are among teams with interest in reliever Brandon Kintzler, whose experience as a closer has executives wondering if a club will sign him to handle that role, according to Morosi. Both the Cardinals and Rockies need more than ninth-inning help, as each team has seen multiple key relievers hit free agency this month. The 33-year-old Kintzler has overcome a paucity of strikeouts to ride a low-walk, high-grounder combination to success throughout his career, including in a 2017 campaign that saw the righty amass a career-high 29 saves between Minnesota and Washington (28 with the Twins).
- The Phillies are one of the teams eyeing left-hander Jake McGee, reports Morosi, who notes that the reliever was once teammates with new Philadelphia skipper Gabe Kapler in Tampa Bay. With Colorado in 2017, McGee, 31, posted a 3.61 ERA and logged 9.1 K/9, 2.51 BB/9 and a 40.5 percent grounder rate over 57 1/3 innings. Along the way, he was effective against both righty- and lefty-swingers, the latter of whom had their way against Phillies relievers (.270/.347/.459).