Yankees Rumors: Alex Cobb choosing between two teams

HOUSTON, TX - JULY 31: Alex Cobb
HOUSTON, TX - JULY 31: Alex Cobb /

If you can’t trust venerable baseball authority Peter Gammons, then who can you trust? Especially when he tells you the Yankees want free agent pitcher Alex Cobb.

According to Peter Gammons, the consensus across baseball is that the showdown for the services of free agent right-handed pitcher Alex Cobb will come down to the Cubs and the Yankees.

The 30-year-old six-year veteran recently turned down the Rays’ one-year qualifying offer of $17.4 million, betting on himself among a less-than-stellar pool of free agent shooters.

In fact, all nine players offered the QO this offseason, said thanks, but no thanks to their respective clubs.

As for what Cobb can expect on the open market, MLBTradeRumors.com recently projected Cobb as the 11th best free agent this winter, which could land him a 4-year, $48 million deal.

The Yankees’ interest in Cobb, who went 12-10 with a 3.66 ERA and 128:44 K:BB ratio in 179 innings pitch in ’17, comes as a bit of a surprise on a number of fronts.

First, there’s the organization’s commitment to getting under the $197 million luxury tax threshold in time for 2018’s supreme free agent class.

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Inking Cobb instead of re-signing CC Sabathia for one-year and $12 million would certainly send the club into the red.

Then there’s the belief that the team should continue down the rebuilding road, and call up Chance Adams to fill the back-end of the rotation.

What about the Japanese Babe Ruth, Shohei Otani? If he is posted, the Yanks will certainly be in the bidding until the very end. Of course, Cobb would probably be off the market by then, but it’s a risk worth taking.

And lastly, signing Cobb goes against much of what general manager Brian Cashman and company have done over the past 18 months.

Since the club currently sits over the luxury tax, and Cobb was extended a QO by the Rays, the Yankees would forfeit their second highest and fifth highest draft picks in next year’s amateur draft.

As if this wasn’t enough to dissuade them from moving forward into contract negotiations, the Yanks would also relinquish $1 million worth of their precious international free agent bonus pool money.

One would assume that their $3.25 million bankroll (second most behind the Rangers) is being reserved solely for Otani.

Next: 40-man roster dealings

So it basically comes down to who you’d rather employ, Cobb or Otani. Decisions, decisions.