Chicago Cubs: Initial offer to Alex Cobb was right on the money
By Jake Misener
The Chicago Cubs made an offer to Alex Cobb in the three-year, $42 million range. Despite his turning the deal down, the team’s evaluation was spot-on.
Here we are. Nearly a week into 2018 and the Chicago Cubs (and most of Major League Baseball) are yet to make what I’d call a ‘major’ free agent signing.
As far as free agents go, the Cubs’ three-year, $38 deal with Tyler Chatwood remains the highest dollar amount given to a pitcher this winter. Jake Arrieta, Yu Darvish and Alex Cobb are all unsigned. Next-level guys like Lance Lynn and Andrew Cashner are still searching for homes, as well.
When the offseason began, Chicago brought in former Tampa Bay pitching coach Jim Hickey. Given the fact he was Cobb’s coach with the Rays, this seemed like a slam dunk. MLBTR predicted the right-hander would land a four-year, $60 million deal this offseason – good for a $15 million AAV.
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This week, we learned via CSN Chicago that the Cubs actually made an offer to Cobb – for three years and $42 million. He declined – and since, Chicago has been connected to both Darvish and Arrieta.
At this point, it’s anybody’s guess where these three wind up.
But, despite the fact Cobb turned down the Cubs’ offer, the team hit what he’s worth right on the head. I’d have a lot of issues going north of that $15 million annually for a guy like Cobb – and, for all we know, he still wants closer to $20 million.
Good luck with that.
A lot to like about this report
Once you crack that ceiling, forget Cobb. It’s time to circle back to the likes of Arrieta and Darvish if we’re talking about that kind of financial obligation. And, even if Chicago somehow misses out on all three – I love just knowing about this offer to Cobb.
It shows the Cubs are refusing to push past logical terms in their pursuit of one last impact starting pitcher. That we aren’t going to see a long-term deal at a ridiculous AAV just for the sake of making a splash before Cubs Convention next weekend. There was a time where we’d never be able to say that with any degree of confidence.
Cubs don’t need another big arm
If none of Arrieta, Cobb or Darvish wind up on the North Side, that’s fine. Chicago doesn’t need to make a big splash to have a solid rotation. There’s a lot to like about Chatwood and, if you really think about it, it comes down to this.
Jose Quintana replaces Jake Arrieta in the rotation. Tyler Chatwood replaces John Lackey – which, at least in my mind, is a clear upgrade. You need an innings-eater for that fifth spot; and if you can’t get your guy at your price, then pack up and move on.
Next: Be happy, Cubs fans. Things are pretty good
When the dust settles, I still believe Chicago picks up one of the ‘big three’ before the winter draws to a close. They’ll head into the season with one of the best starting rotations in baseball and a lineup that is young and hungry as they look to return to dominance.
But if not, as I mentioned before. This report shows that they aren’t going to make dumb deals for the sake of making news. It’s about intelligent signings that make the team better long-term. And that, thankfully, is what we’ve come to expect from this front office.