Cubs: Rays’ Starting Pitcher Alex Cobb Remains on the Radar this Spring

The Cubs are reportedly interested in acquiring Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb to help bolster the back-end of their already deep pitching rotation.

There’s no better time to fire up the rumor mill then right now, especially following the slightly disheartening news that top ranked prospect, Eloy Jimenez, will be sidelined for a few weeks because of should soreness. Jimenez, although impressing Cubs coaches and front office management, wasn’t expected to make the final 25-man roster for Opening Day even if he was healthy. Regardless, any injury to a young player with huge potential doesn’t sit to well with anyone.

Back to Cobb.

A potential trade for Alex Cobb of the Rays would be a bold move for the Chicago Cubs, one that would solidify their starting rotation as one of the best in all of baseball, if not the best. But the Cubs aren’t the only team interested in Cobb, as reported by Marc Topkin, a Rays beat writer for the Tampa Bay Times. The Los Angeles Dodgers, who lost to the Cubs in six games in last years National League Championship Series, also share a similar mindset with the Cubs.

Both organizations seem like ideal landing spots for Cobb, considering the ties he has to both ball clubs. Cubs current manager Joe Maddon, coached the Rays from 2006-2014 and still has some familiarity with the Rays front office. The Dodgers current President of Baseball Operations, Andrew Friedman, was the previous General Manager and Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations for the Rays.

Cobb only appeared in five games last season, starting all of them, while posting a 1-2 record with a 8.59 ERA and 1.77 WHIP. He returned late last season after tearing his UCL and having Tommy John surgery before the 2015 season.

Cobb, before his injury, proved to be a reliable starting pitcher. In 2013, he went 11-3 with a 2.76 ERA in 22 starts. He followed that campaign up with a successful 2014 season, in which he went 10-9 with a 2.87 ERA in 27 starts. Both the Cubs and the Dodgers like Cobb for his durability, but the question of how well he bounces back from surgery still looms.

The 29-year-old pitcher looks to rebound in 2017 and hopefully that rebound takes place while wearing Cubbie blue. With the acquisition of Cobb, the Cubs rotation would be potent with high expectations. In the not so wise words of Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan, the ceiling is the roof for the Cubs in 2017.

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