Alex Cobb’s tenure with the Tampa Bay Rays is likely coming to an end as the team is not expected to re-sign their veteran starting pitcher this off-season, according to a report from Jon Heyman of FanRagSports.
The Rays aren't seen as having any chance to re-sign Alex Cobb. They gave it a good shot twice, once after after his second year and then again after his third. They offered $30-plus million the first time, and $40-plus million the second time. However, the Rays wanted the deal to have two team options. Cobb, with a nice season, should easily out-do those deals. And he also won't have to give two options as a free agent. Cobb and his wife moved a couple winters in a row, so they don't mind change (though they seem to have settled in Arizona for winters),
An unsung prospect during his rise up the organizational ladder, Cobb became the model of consistency as he continuously delivered solid performances. Unfortunately, injuries, and freak ones at that, would be his undoing, as he has yet to have a major league season that did not include a significant stint on the disabled list. Regardless, he has still been able to turn in several solid seasons for the Rays and once he becomes a free agent this off-season, he’ll be handsomely rewarded.
The Rays seldom keep players long enough to have them enter free agency, usually either signing them to contract extensions or trading them. In fact, only one player in franchise history has played through his rookie contract (without signing extensions) with the team and that was
Melvin B.J. Upton back in 2012.
It’s indeed surprising that Cobb is still with the Rays now. Most likely a combination of continued play-off hopes around the deadline, and perhaps a weak market for pitcher rentals, led the Rays to decide to keep him on the team this season.
The Rays have tried their hand at extending Alex Cobb in years past, as Heyman notes, but the two sides could never quite consummate the deal. If Cobb wasn’t ready to sign after taking a fastball to the head, it was clear that he was unlikely to sign at all, at least at what the Rays considered to be an acceptable price.
Alex Cobb was the winning pitcher in the Rays only wild card play-in game, back in 2013. There are still a few weeks left in the season and they still have a tiny chance of getting back there. Perhaps, if they succeed, Cobb will have the opportunity to repeat that 2013 feat.