Milwaukee Brewers: Is Alex Cobb a fit for the rotation?

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 22: Starting pitcher Alex Cobb
BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 22: Starting pitcher Alex Cobb /

The Milwaukee Brewers need to add a starting pitcher this off-season. Three of the five rotation spots are filled, but there is room to add a starter to the mix. Could free agent Alex Cobb work with the Brewers payroll and expectations?

We’ve broken down the top free agent starting pitchers available to the Milwaukee Brewers in the coming off season. Alex Cobb would rank among the top guys if his injury history wasn’t as checkered and he didn’t have an ERA over 8.00 as recently as 2016. Could Cobb fit into the 2018 Brewers rotation?

How was Cobb in 2017?

Healthy! Cobb would have made 30 starts for the first time in his career if the Rays didn’t shut him down for the final week of the season. He started 29 games and ended the year with a 3.66 ERA in 179 1/3 innings of work. He struck out 128 and walked 44. Cobb also averaged 91.7 MPH on his fastball, up from the 90.4 MPH mark he posted in five starts in 2016.

Will the Brewers have to deal for Cobb?

Nope. He’ll become an unrestricted free agent if the Rays don’t make him a qualifying offer. The concern for the Rays is that Cobb could accept a qualifying offer in hopes of rebuilding his value for a run at free agency a year later. It’s a calculated risk, but there is a chance that Cobb decides to take a one-year deal worth more than he’s made in his career to date.

What kind of contract could Cobb command?

Cobb is a free agent the first time, completely healthy, and looking for a pay day. A three- or four-year deal in the $40 – $60 million range is very likely. The Milwaukee Brewers have payroll to work with thanks to Matt Garza moving on.

Next: Possible rotation answer from Japan

Alex Cobb makes a lot of sense for the Milwaukee Brewers. The problem is that he also makes sense for about a dozen other teams including the division rival Chicago Cubs. Could Cobb choose Milwaukee as his next home? Sure! Is he a lock to fit into the Brewers rotation behind Chase Anderson, Zach Davies, and Brandon Woodruff? There really aren’t any locks at this point when it comes to free agency. The Brewers should be in the mix, but they still need to make a convincing pitch to add Cobb.