Is it time for the Boston Red Sox to make a move on Alex Cobb? Cobb could provide rotation insurance and solidify an injury prone staff.
It’s time for the Boston Red Sox to go all out. That’s easy for me to say since it’s not my money or is it? Eventually, we all pay via inflated ticket prices or embedded within product cost to be the official something or other of the Red Sox. A few pennies or more to grease the fiscal wheels of the co-conspirators – the ownership and players. So much for that blather.
The one item that the Red Sox need is a pitching security blanket. Do you really expect the rotation starting five to toss 140+ starts? I don’t. Too many questionable body parts such as elbows, knees, and forearms that can put a sudden damper on a season. Drew Pomeranz has already faced a medical issue with his left appendage. What about the regular season?
What to do?
Owner John Henry has decreed the Red Sox can exceed the luxury tax or competitive balance tax or whatever they call it when you spend too much that is classified as a detriment to the game. The Red Sox already have the highest payroll in baseball while the more notoriously extravagant New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers have held the line for a fiscal reset.
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What is known is Cobb remains available. What also is known is Cobb rejected his qualifying offer. And the big known is a similar pitcher – fellow right-hander Lance Lynn – went for a one-year $12 million deal with the Twins.
Would Cobb bite for a one-year deal or stay obstinate for a long-term payoff? What is also known is the 30-year-old missed 2016 with Tommy John Surgery and that must be in his negotiation process – personal security.
Cobb finished 12-10 with a 3.66 ERA for the Tampa Bay Rays last season. Cobb also posted a 2.2 BB/9 and that was somewhat counterbalanced by a 1.1 HR/9. Looking at the metrics, velocity is back to pre-surgery days, Cobb’s GB% was 47.8, and Cobb’s .283 BABIP is in line with his career. Cobb’s fWAR for 2017 was 2.3. The total package signals recovery.
Cobb has American League East experience and that is a big plus, as is his 5-1 record and 3.15 ERA at Fenway Park for his career. Safe to say that Cobb is back and could provide rotation depth and insurance it is time for the Red Sox to kick the fiscal tires.
What would it take? Cobb is earning nothing. Others have signed for far less than anticipated – just ask Mike Moustakas. Could the Red Sox get a Lynn type deal in place? A one-year deal to build up value? Maybe an incentive loaded deal? The options exist and then comes the long-term payroll ramifications.
A multi-year commitment would have the potential to put a financial squeeze on the Red Sox for 2019 and beyond. There is payroll coming off the books, but a big hit is in the team’s future with Mookie Betts and the collection of young talent, but if the goal is the immediate a Cobb Signing could put the Red Sox in division control.