By the looks of it, Alex Cobb will not be wearing a Milwaukee Brewers uniform to start the 2018 season.
Cobb could have provided some solid help to the starting rotation. However, the pairing is not destined to be. According to Peter Gammons, the race for the right hander will come down to the Chicago Cubs and the New York Yankees.
That is kind of an awkward situation for a couple of reasons. The first being that Cobb may end up in the division, which I will circle back around to. However, the other part of this is that the Yankees don’t really feel like major players in this potential signing.
First off, Cobb will be a pricy and multi-year signing. Sportstrac estimates his market value at a six year deal worth 18.3 million per year. For a team worried about the luxury tax, that is an awfully big chunk of money.
Not to mention the appearing as front runners in the Shohei Ohtani race. That would mean their starting rotation would consist of Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Sonny Gray, Cobb and Ohtani, it they got both. But they still have other pitching prospects ready to take a spot. That would be very crowded. Talented, but crowded.
Logic says that, of the two, the Chicago Cubs will be the team that secures Cobb. That means the Milwaukee Brewers lineup will see him a lot. He would add into the trio of Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, and Jose Quintana, leaving questions about who the fifth starter would be.
Over the last three years, Cobb has not pitched in Miller Park or at Wrigley. However he did face the Milwaukee Brewers one time. He struck out six, gave up five hits and took the loss over six innings of work.
After throwing in only five games of the 2016 season, Cobb came back to pitch in a career high 29 games. He did so posting a 3.66 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. Not ace status numbers, especially his 128 strikeouts through 179 innings. However, he is a solid middle of the rotation starter who can be one of the better pitchers in the game on any given day.
It looks as if the Milwaukee Brewers target will be Jake Arietta this winter. One just has to wonder if that is the right move to stack up against a rotation featuring four strong starters. The former Cub has fallen from grace in the last few seasons.