Here’s the latest from FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman via his weekly notes column on all 30 teams…
- Before Alex Cobb signed with the Orioles, “the Padres got involved late on” the free agent righty’s market. It would’ve been another eye-popping move for a team that surprised many by signing Eric Hosmer, though the Padres could’ve simply been doing some due diligence — Cobb likely drew interest from several seemingly-unlikely teams as he continued to languish on the open market. The Padres also had at least some interest in Jake Arrieta, another big-name free agent starter who was still unexpectedly available into March. Given A.J. Preller’s penchant for aggressive moves and the Padres’ prospect depth, I wouldn’t be surprised if San Diego made a big in-season trade to further kickstart its rebuilding process.
- After Lance Lynn signed with the Twins for one year and $12MM, the Brewers offered Cobb a contract with the same terms. Cobb rejected the deal, as it was known that he was looking for multiple years and wasn’t willing to settle for a one-year pact. It should be noted that Lynn himself could’ve had at least one multi-year offer on the table, but opted instead to sign the one-year deal with Minnesota since he was excited about their potential as a contender.
- Even with Cobb now in the fold, the Orioles may still look to add more starting pitching depth beyond their current starting five of Cobb, Kevin Gausman, Dylan Bundy, Andrew Cashner, and Chris Tillman. Heyman opines that Scott Feldman could be a possibility, as the righty “was beloved” by members of the Baltimore organization during his previous stint with the club in 2013.
- Trade buzz continues to circle Astros right-hander Collin McHugh, as Heyman writes that McHugh “could be had in a trade,” as Houston has a surplus of rotation-worthy arms. The Twins and Orioles were both linked to McHugh in rumors earlier this winter, though those teams are probably no longer in the running due to their subsequent pitching additions. McHugh is owed $5MM this season and is under control through 2019 in his final arbitration-eligible season, making him a nice cost-effective addition for potential suitors.
- While none of these teams were specifically cited as being interested in McHugh, Heyman listed the Reds, Brewers, Mariners, and Rangers as teams that are looking for pitching. All four of the clubs have dealt with some injury setbacks in Spring Training, so further additions could be more akin to fill-in options rather than major acquisitions. Texas, however, does seem to be at least considering making a higher-priced add, given how the Rangers showed some recent interest in Cobb and Greg Holland.
- The Dodgers seem prepared to go with in-house options to replace Justin Turner while the star third baseman is sidelined with a fractured wrist. The New York Post’s Joel Sherman recently floated the idea of L.A. acquiring either Deven Marrero or Brock Holt from the Red Sox to help fill the third base void, though Heyman writes that the Dodgers haven’t been in touch with the Sox about either player. Holt and the out-of-options Marrero are both reportedly potential trade candidates due to a roster crunch.
- The Mets haven’t seriously discussed the possibility of signing Ubaldo Jimenez, Heyman hears from a person connected with the team. The past relationship between Jimenez and Mets manager Mickey Callaway (Jimenez had a strong 2013 season with the Indians when Callaway was Cleveland’s pitching coach) led to some rumors that New York could consider adding the veteran right-hander as rotation depth. Jimenez is coming off rough seasons in both 2016 and 2017 with the Orioles, and as a result has drawn no known interest all winter as he tries to catch on with another club.