Many of the offseason’s most tantalizing and talented free agents remain unsigned as management and their respective agents continue posturing with one another to see who will blink first in this latest game of cat and mouse.
While the likes of Jake Arrieta, Yu Darvish, and J.D. Martinez remain sequestered in free agent purgatory hopeful for their multi-year windfalls there is one hurler the Toronto Blue Jays should hone their radar on to solidify their rotation and that is Alex Cobb.
Cobb is AL East battle-tested with a full year under his belt from Tommy John surgery, the 30-year could instantly transform the Blue Jays into an immediate contender coupled with the likes of Marcus Stroman and a healthy Aaron Sanchez.
The former Tampa Bay Rays hurler went 12-10 with a 3.66 earned run average in 29 starts last season. Cobb did see a drop in his strikeouts per nine registering 6.4 compared to 8.1 in 2014, however, he still managed a 2.4 WAR.
In 16 of his 29 starts in 2017 Cobb surrendered 2 or fewer runs during those outings and in 6 more outings coughed up only 3 runs essentially giving his team a chance to win in 22 of his 29 starts. This was all one season removed from making 5 starts in 2016 and missing the entire 2015 season due to injury.
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Cobb has the ability to be a game changer at the front of the Blue Jays rotation and he will surely come with less term than originally anticipated this past November. Ross Atkins and company have had a nice offseason solidifying areas of concern without venturing into the free agent waters. This is the time and the player to do it on especially if you can land Cobb on a three or four-year pact.
The move would also afford the Jays the luxury of returning Joe Biagini to his rightful place in the bullpen and we can all forget about his rotation experiment that was all for not. With the departure of Dominic Leone in the pen, Biagini becomes that much more valuable in the late innings securing valuable outs.
The big right-hander is in for a hefty raise regardless of the offseason climate having earned only $4.2 million in his final season before hitting the open market. However, if the Jays can lure him in on a 4 year/ $60 million pact or a 3 year/ $48 million commitment, you would have to figure those would be numbers the brain trust could swallow.
The Jays appear poised on competing in 2018 and this is the type of quality move that just may get them over the hump and back into the postseason.