In an appearance on MLB Network Radio on Friday, free agent right-hander Alex Cobb spoke highly of Cubs manager Joe Maddon and pitching coach Jim Hickey, as Patrick Mooney of NBC Sports Chicago details. Cobb spent the first seven years of his career in Tampa Bay, where he played under Maddon (2011-14) and Hickey (through 2017), which has led to speculation that the Cubs will pursue him in free agency. On the possibility of joining the Cubs and reuniting with Maddon and Hickey, Cobb said, “Obviously, if we move down the line and we’re able to have some discussions with them, I’d be very honored to be able to talk with them and hopefully come to a deal.”
Before Cobb’s eligible to sign with the Cubs or another team, he’ll have to reject the Rays’ $17.4MM qualifying offer, which he hinted he’ll do when he said, “You’re talking about, hopefully, a decision that’s going to impact the next five years of your life. Based on that comment, it seems Cobb is seeking a five-year deal (MLBTR is projecting he’ll land a four-year arrangement), though he insisted that he’ll prioritize team success over money. “I’ve been through both. I’ve been through losing seasons and I’ve been through winning seasons,” he stated. “And the amount of joy that winning brings to us – it can’t be replaced by a dollar figure.”
More from the National League:
- Joe Frisaro of MLB.com breaks down offseason trade possibilities for the Marlins, who are reportedly shopping right fielder Giancarlo Stanton, second baseman Dee Gordon and third baseman Martin Prado. To get a haul for Stanton, who’s owed $295MM through 2028 (or $77MM if he opts out after 2020), Frisaro suggests the Fish should pick up one-third of the tab over the next three years. Gordon’s contract is far less complicated – he’s due a manageable $37.9MM through 2020 – which should lead to widespread interest in him, Frisaro observes. The same isn’t true of Prado, who’s coming off a below-average, injury-plagued year and will rake in $28.5MM through 2019. The Marlins’ best hope to move Prado would be to package him with a real asset – center fielder Christian Yelich, for example – Frisaro opines. Otherwise, they’re going to be stuck with the 34-year-old heading into next season.
- While the Mets could be on the hunt for a second baseman, odds are they won’t be the team that acquires Gordon, Anthony DiComo of MLB.com writes. The Mets have neither the prospect capital nor payroll flexibility necessary to put together a deal for Gordon, reasons DiComo, who estimates that the club has around $30MM to spend this offseason with needs at second or third base, the corner outfield/first base, the rotation and the bullpen.
- The Reds plan to use star third base prospect Nick Senzel all over the diamond in 2018, general manager Dick Williams tells Mark Sheldon of MLB.com. “This is a guy that played shortstop in college [at Tennessee], played third base in college, played second base as an amateur,” Williams said. “We think he’s clearly athletic enough to go to left field or right field. He’s got the bat to do it.” The 22-year-old Senzel showed off his prowess at the plate in 2017, hitting a robust .321/.391/.514 in 507 plate appearances between Single-A and Double-A, and figures to open next season at the minors’ highest level.