The New York Yankees are expected to start the 2018 MLB season with the current starting rotation that they have. However, the Yankees will continuously be linked to starting pitchers because they might need to shore up their rotation if they want to improve their World Series chances this season.
Alex Cobb remains a free agent, and the veteran pitcher is still being connected to the Yankees. While the Yankees look ready to roll with starters Luis Severino, Sonny Gray, Masahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia, and Jordan Montgomery, Newsday reported that Cobb remains a target for them heading into the season.
According to the report, the Yankees might still make a run at Cobb despite the fact that they are trying to stay below the luxury tax threshold. Now that he is the only top-caliber pitcher available on the market, Cobb might eventually drop his asking price for next season.
Cobb is coming off a decent season for the Rays. The Boston native went 12-10 with a 3.66 ERA and 128 strikeouts last season. In his six seasons in Tampa Bay, the right-handed pitcher has a 48-35 record with 3.50 ERA and 570 strikeouts. Adding him to the current Yankees rotation will make the Yankees more formidable this year.
However, it remains to be seen whether the Yankees are willing to pay the price. The 30-year-old turned down a $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Tampa Bay Rays, which means the team that signs him to a deal will have to surrender at least one draft pick as compensation.
Aside from the Yankees, several teams are also being linked to Cobb. According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, Cobb will also be a perfect fit for the Milwaukee Brewers and Minnesota Twins. The Baltimore Orioles were also mentioned as an ideal landing spot, considering the fact that Cobb has spent his entire career in the American League East.
According to Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun, if Cobb is not ruling out the Orioles, they should strongly consider signing the six-year veteran. The Orioles have Kevin Gausman, Dylan Bundy, Andrew Cashner, Chris Tillman, and Gabriel Ynoa as their starters for the upcoming season.
Schmuck said adding Cobb will give Baltimore a solid rotation that would help them stay competitive, and decrease the talent gap between them, the Yankees, and Boston Red Sox in the AL East. He added that Cobb’s arrival would keep Miguel Castro in the middle relief role, which proved to be a good fit for the 23-year-old.