Thursday, September 21, 2017


Photo: Getty Images
I can't believe it is September already, and soon we will be writing about signings and rumors, not games. I am going to milk what is left of this last bit of baseball but rumors are already out there. The Yankees will have to address the starting rotation during the off-season and we will need at least one if not two more starters and they are wasting no time.

(Sept. 18, 2017 - Source: Adam Hunger/Getty Images North America)     
If we assume that CC Sabathia does not sign a new deal with the Yankees and Masahiro Tanaka opts out of his contract and plays elsewhere and Michael Pineda is likely done in a Yankees uniform too. The Yankees have some serious holes to fill. As always the Yankees will be tied to the big free agent pitchers in the off-season like Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta but I don't think the Yankees will sign either one of those guys. I see the Yankees going after a more affordable option to help solidify the back of the rotation.

(Sept. 9, 2017 - Source: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images North America)     
Enter familiar AL East opponent Alex Cobb. We have seen Cobb many times in a Rays uniform but he may trade uniforms and stay in the AL East. The Yankees are rumored to be interested in him and on paper he makes sense. He could be a great back end starter and he is battle tested in our division. At first, I was not sold on the idea of Cobb in a Yankee uniform, but now I think I am surprisingly.

Just like anyone else, Cobb would come with some concern. This was his first season back after Tommy John surgery, but he hasn't missed a start. His ground ball rate was good before surgery and now it has dropped but it's still respectable. When hitters make contact they seem to be hitting him harder and that is proven by his career high 21 home runs allowed this year but, with more work now that he is healthy and some good coaching the Yankees could really make him a reliable back end guy.

I like the idea of Cobb for a few reasons.

Photo: Getty Images
1) He's consistent and has the experience. He has a 3.63 ERA this season and a career 3.49 ERA and he is an innings eater. Despite this is his first year back from surgery he has still pitched 173 innings and has a winning record. He hasn't missed a start all season long and he knows how to pitch in the AL East.

2) By some of his numbers you can argue this is a down season for him. If an 11-10 season with a 3.63 ERA is a down season then he is doing pretty damn well and there is room for improvement. Based on what he has done this season I think he will only get better as he gets further away from his surgery and maybe going to a competitive team in the AL East will light that fire under him to win more games.

Photo: Getty Images
3) Cobb is still pretty young. He's about to turn 30 years old. He still fits in with the Yankees vision of getting younger. He still has a few years left of peak or close to peak performance. As long as the Yankees don't overwork him and he stays healthy Cobb could continue to be an innings eater.

4) He fits the Yankees spending plans. The Yankees are still determined to get under that luxury tax. He will still cost a nice chunk of change, but the Yankees would be able to afford him and not break the bank unlike with the other big names.

I think Cobb comes with some risk, but also some potential high reward. There are certainly other targets out there like Shohei Otani but they don't have the affordable price tag. Pretty soon Cobb is going to be one of the most popular free agents this season and many teams will be trying to sign him. It will be interesting to see if the Yankees decide to make a serious offer, or just drive up the price.

Would you take a chance on Cobb?

--Jeana Bellezza
BYB Managing Editor 
Follow me on Twitter: @NYPrincess

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