Milwaukee Brewers: Should Crew Try To Acquire Alex Cobb?
The Milwaukee Brewers tried and failed to acquire Matt Harvey from the Reds. With GM David Stearns still on the lookout for a starting pitcher, could Alex Cobb be the next target?
Back in the offseason, the Milwaukee Brewers were reportedly interested in signing Alex Cobb. A deal never came to fruition due to the high asking price that Cobb had. He ended up signing late with the Baltimore Orioles on a four year, $57 million deal.
According to Jon Heyman, Alex Cobb has cleared revocable waivers and can now be traded to any other MLB team for the rest of the month.
How Is Cobb Pitching?
Since Cobb signed late in the offseason, he missed the beginning of spring training and got off to a terrible start in 2018. Cobb had a 6.41 ERA at the end of the first half and it took him a long time to get his feet under him.
However, since the All-Star Break, Cobb has been terrific. He has a 2.15 ERA in seven starts after the Midsummer Classic. Opponents had a .899 OPS against Cobb in the first half. In the second half, they have a .598 OPS, a drop of over 300 points.
Cobb has allowed only two runs or less in every single one of his starts in the month of August. He’s also gone at least six innings in each of those starts, including one complete game against the Indians on August 18th.
This second half turnaround for Cobb is remarkable. He’s finally pitching the way everyone thought he would when he hit the free agent market last winter.
What about Cobb’s contract?
This is the big roadblock to any potential trade. Cobb signed that $57 million contract over four years and he cleared waivers because of that. Anyone who would have wanted to put in a claim risked the Orioles simply letting him go.
He’s under contract through the 2021 season, and while that is the kind of long term control the Milwaukee Brewers tend to like, the money involved is too much. The Brewers didn’t sign Cobb in the offseason because of how much money he would have cost.
If the Brewers are going to complete a trade for Cobb, the Orioles would need to pick up a significant portion of his salary. It remains to be seen how much they’re willing to pay, but with the organization in the beginning stages of a massive rebuild, they don’t need a big long term contract like Cobb’s on their books.
If they pay half of his remaining contract, maybe that would be enough for David Stearns to trade at least a somewhat significant prospect in order to acquire Cobb. I think that if the money balances out, the Brewers should try to get a deal done.
The Milwaukee Brewers still would like to add a starting pitcher, and few have been better in the second half this year than Alex Cobb.