Orioles right-hander Alex Cobb will miss the remainder of the 2019 season due to season-ending hip surgery, general manager Mike Elias announced to reporters Tuesday (Twitter links via Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com). The operation will fix an impingement in his right hip, and Kubatko adds that Cobb might also undergo a procedure on his knee.
Cobb, 31, is in the second season of a four-year, $57MM contract that has blown up in Baltimore’s face to this point. The longtime Rays right-hander got out to a poor start in 2018 but at least gave the club some cause for optimism when he posted a 2.59 ERA and 42-to-18 K/BB ratio in 66 innings down the stretch. That solid stretch of games was only enough to push his overall ERA to 4.90, though, and he was limited to 12 1/3 innings due to a lumbar strain in 2019 prior to today’s announcement.
In all, Cobb has given the Orioles 164 2/3 innings of 5.34 ERA ball over the course of 31 starts since signing his deal. A decent showing in the first half of the year might’ve been enough to allow the Orioles to shed a portion of his contract’s remainder, but that now looks all but impossible. The O’s will have to hope that Cobb can return to health in 2020, if for no other reason than to help soak up innings for a club that is quite thin in terms up upper-level pitching depth in the minors.
Cobb is still set to be paid $14MM in 2020 and $15MM in 2021, but a portion of those salaries are deferred and will be paid out in annual increments from 2023-32.