Alex Cobb was a nice surprise for the Rays this season, managing to stay healthy and prove himself to be a competitive force to be reckoned with over the course of 2017. The team obviously recognized his value, because on Monday afternoon they announced that a $17.4 million qualifying offer had been extended to the starting pitcher.
Cobb was so good that he was recognized last week by Rawlings as a finalist for their Gold Glove award, recognizing individual accomplishments in defensive prowess.
This season, Cobb started a career high 29 games, had a 3.66 ERA, a 1.221 WHIP, a 4.16 FIP, and collected a 12-10 record over the year.
In 2017, Cobb earned $4.2 million, so the $17.4 million of the qualifying offer would be an incredible bump in pay. As a free agent, however, should he decline the offer he would be able to test his luck on the open market to see if he could get a multi-year deal from another club. And there are several clubs who would be willing to pay big for a pitcher like Cobb.
We have previously discussed why the offer was a smart move for the Rays. If he stays, the Rays would very likely use him as a trade chip, rather than keep him on the roster. Should he decline the offer and receive a deal with another team worth more than $50 million, the Rays will earn another draft pick as a result, obviously a very appealing option.
Cobb now has 10 days to make a decision regarding the offer. He will need to announce his choice by November 16.