Monday, November 20, 2017

THE YANKEES ARE "FAVORITES" TO SIGN THIS PITCHER?

Source: Al Bello/Getty Images North America
I love this time of the year. Despite the fact that the Yankees have not "officially" brought Brian Cashman back (even though we know that is just a formality) and the Yankees don't have a new manager yet the rumor mill is continuing to heat up. We are all waiting for some news. We are waiting for those possible trades or free agent signings!

Source: Bob Levey/Getty Images North America
Could Alex Cobb be one of those free agent signings? Back in September Nick Cafardo said the Yankees were reportedly "very interested" in signing Cobb and then that rumor lost steam. Now suddenly the connection is back and this time Peter Gammons says that interest is back, and possibly stronger than ever. Supposedly, there is an "industry consensus" that there will be a showdown between the Chicago Cubs and the Yankees for his services. Hmmmm....

Now whether you believe that or not, I think the Yankees would be a surprise and unlikely suitor for Cobb.  I still say that connection is a stretch for a few reasons but I could be wrong. In any event, the Yankees have a lot of things to consider when it comes to Cobb.

1. Getting under the luxury tax

Source: Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America
Hal Steinbrenner has made it very clear that the Yankees have every intention to get under the luxury tax and signing someone like Cobb would make that extremely hard to do. Cobb and Lance Lynn are the two best free agents available other than Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta so he is going to get a pricier multi-year deal and the Yankees aren't going to be looking to make that kind of commitment. The only way the Yankees could sign Cobb and still get under the luxury tax would be to unload another big contract or two off of the books, which is a another challenge in itself.

2. The stats aren't the greatest

Source: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images North America
Long story short here....Cobb has some concerns. The strikeouts are down, his home runs are up, the ground balls are down and the hitters are making more hard contact against him. It's just not a good combination for Yankee stadium even taking into account that he is just getting back from Tommy John surgery there are a lot of question marks.

3. The Yankees have a lot of pitching options already

Source: Elsa/Getty Images North America
You can never have too much pitching. We've all heard that and it's true, but even without Cobb the Yankees would have a lot of pitching. I think Shohei Otani would be more appealing to the Yankees and even if Otani doesn't happen the Yankees could save the money and sign a less expensive veteran like CC Sabathia. We can;t forget about some of the kids in the minors either, Chance Adams is waiting for his opportunity. The Yankees have plenty of options without having to go sign a long term, more expensive deal with Cobb.

4. Other teams have an interest and need him more than the Yankees

Source: Brian Blanco/Getty Images North America
No offense to Cobb, but the Yankees don't "need" him. I'm not sure why Gammons and "industry consensus" have a strong connection between Cobb and the Yankees. Now teams like the Cubs, I get. Supposedly there is mutual interest there and it makes sense. Arrieta is unlikely to return to the Cubs so the Cubs will look for another big name to help fill-in their rotation. The Cardinals and Blue Jays also could make a play for Cobb. Another intriguing connection could be another AL East team the Baltimore Orioles. This move makes sense because the Orioles finished with the worst ERA in baseball last season. Cobb has some success in the AL East and could strengthen a weak Orioles team.

So is Gammons right about the Yankees-Cobb connection? I don't see it but what do I know? The Yankees have so many other options that make more sense. I guess we will wait and see if Gammons is right. Until then, keep the rumors coming.



--Jeana Bellezza
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @nyprincessj






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