Is Alex Cobb the next MLB free agency domino to fall? The former Tampa Bay Rays’ starter is drawing a lot of interest from MLB clubs, including the New York Mets. Alex Cobb is perhaps the next player sign with a team now that the MLB free agency market has been defined.
Prized MLB free agent Yu Darvish agreed to terms (courtesy of Inquisitr News) with the Chicago Cubs on Saturday. Yu Darvish’s contract that he signed with the Cubs was for six years and $126 million. Darvish was heralded as the best available free agent pitcher.
Alex Cobb, considered by many to be either the second or third ranked pitcher is a little over a year younger than Yu Darvish. Now that Darvish is off of the board Cobb has a deal to model his contractual preferences around.
What Alex Cobb was reportedly seeking in December, according to the Chicago Sun-Times’ Gordon Wittenmeyer was somewhere in the ballpark of four years and $80 million. That is an AAV of $20 million per season. When compared to $21 million AAV that the Chicago Cubs signed Yu Darvish too, chances are that Alex Cobb will receive less.
That is good news for the New York Mets, one of the teams seeking a starting pitcher to plug into their rotation.
According to Bleacher Report via Ken Rosenthal, the Mets would be interested in signing Alex Cobb, but on one condition — Cobb’s price must fall.
At one point the prospects of Alex Cobb being keen on signing a four-year deal, worth somewhere between $68-75 million may be slim. With the details of the Yu Darvish contract filtering out, it could hurt Alex Cobb’s chances to get $20 million a year. If Cobb is open to a deal with the AAV of $17 million it would be considered a ginormous raise.
Alex Cobb earned $4 million in his final season with the Rays. One reason for teams such as the Mets to pause is that Alex Cobb may not be an ace pitcher, but a No. 3 instead.
Questions about Alex Cobb’s throwing arm can be a hindrance. Cobb is a couple of seasons removed from Tommy John surgery, (courtesy of MLB.com). Alex Cobb’s arm strength should be back to 100 percent, however, the Mets have dealt with health concerns throughout their pitching staff.
Giving Alex Cobb $20 million a season is a risky for the New York Mets, even if he can be the difference in postseason contention or not.
There are other reasons why the New York Mets and other teams have been lukewarm on the idea of adding Alex Cobb.
One of those reasons the Mets have been reluctant is because signing Alex Cobb would cost the Mets their second highest draft pick (courtesy of The Athletic). At $20 million a year and the loss of the amateur pick is a lot for the Mets to give up.
The other reason why the Mets had decided to take a pause on Alex Cobb is the loss of $500,000 in their international funds. The Mets need to replenish their farm system. Adding Alex Cobb to a huge deal hurts that cause.
Alex Cobb may be a risky signing for the New York Mets, however, other teams will make an attempt to sign him. A bidding war could ensue afterward. The Mets may come to the conclusion that a few affordable options are available. However, adding Alex Cobb would put the Mets in a good position for postseason contention.