There are MLB rumors that free agent pitcher Alex Cobb will officially sign with the Baltimore Orioles, as a deal is close. Ken Rosenthal was among the first to send out the news, according to his sources. That ends the drought for one of the remaining top free agents on the market just about a week before the regular season gets started. Here's the latest on Alex Cobb leaving the Tampa Bay Rays as a free agent to join the American League's Baltimore Orioles and the team's outlook heading into the brand new season.
On Tuesday afternoon, MLB on FOX reporter and The Athletic contributor Ken Rosenthal tweeted out that sources were indicating a deal was close between Cobb and the Orioles. At the time, Rosenthal said the deal could be worth $50 million for up to three years, but that was unconfirmed. Later on, Rosenthal sent out a second tweet indicating that another source said Rosenthal's salary number may have been a bit high. Rosenthal suggested more details would be coming soon to determine what the actual contract will be worth. However, it appears to end the wait for Cobb to find a team interested in his services, as it was being said the Rays weren't planning to re-sign him.Cobb was part of the Tampa Bay Rays' rotation ever since the 2011 season. He participated in almost every season since then with the exception of 2015 and most of 2016. That's because Tommy John surgery was required and put him on the shelf, causing him to miss all of 2015; he only pitched five games towards the tail end of the 2016 season. However, he's racked up a career 3.50 ERA along with a 48-35 record and 570 strikeouts since being in the league.
He now joins a Baltimore Orioles team that finished dead last in the American League East division last season at 75-87, just a game behind the Toronto Blue Jays and five games behind Tampa Bay. Baltimore also ranked 27th in MLB in terms of ERA last season and provided the third-highest batting average for opponents in the league. Cobb's addition could start to address that issue somewhat.
The Baltimore Orioles are listed towards the bottom of the future odds at Vegas Insider to win the 2018 World Series. Baltimore was listed at 220 to 1 as of this report, which was a few spots below Cobb's former team, as the Tampa Bay Rays were at 200 to 1. However, these odds could change a small bit in the coming days as the Cobb deal is finalized and he's introduced as their newest addition to the pitching rotation.