Alex Cobb made his final start of the season this afternoon, allowing five runs over as many innings in a loss to the Rangers. It’s possible that was his last outing in a Los Angeles uniform, as Cobb is slated to hit free agency this winter. After the outing, the right-hander expressed a desire to stick around in Anaheim beyond this year though.
Cobb told reporters (including Jack Harris of the Los Angeles Times) that while there’s not yet been any talk between the club and his representatives at Beverley Hills Sports Council, he believes both sides are amenable to extending their relationship. “We both have the understanding that there’s mutual respect there and mutual desire to reunite next year,” Cobb said. “We haven’t had those talks yet, but it’s obviously something I’d be really happy to do.”
Mutual interest in a reunion doesn’t guarantee anything will get done, of course, but it’s nonetheless the first step in any potential extension. It’s not particularly surprising the Angels would like to keep Cobb in the fold, as he posted a quietly strong first season in Anaheim (today’s start notwithstanding).
The Angels drew some criticism last offseason when they traded one-time top prospect Jahmai Jones to land Cobb from the Orioles. General manager Perry Minasian and his staff were rewarded for their faith in the veteran hurler, as he worked to a 3.76 ERA across 93 1/3 innings this season. A pair of injured list stints (one because of a blister, the other due to wrist inflammation) limited Cobb to nineteen starts, but he posted generally strong results when healthy.
Cobb backed up his sub-4.00 ERA with quality peripherals. He punched out a career-best 24.9% of opponents while handing out free passes at only an 8.4% rate. Always one of the game’s better pitchers at keeping the ball on the ground, he racked up grounders at a 53.8% clip that’s more than ten percentage points above the league average. Cobb’s 3.78 SIERA (prior to today’s start) lands right in line with his actual run prevention figure.
Soon to turn 34 years old, Cobb looks to have a real case to land a multi-year deal this winter. That didn’t seem particularly likely just a few months ago, as the first three years of his free agent contract with the Orioles didn’t go well. Between 2018-20, he tossed 217 innings of 5.10 ERA/5.22 FIP ball in Baltimore. Cobb candidly acknowledged when speaking with reporters today he’d once feared those struggles could soon limit his chances to continue playing, but he’s flipped that script with a strong showing in Anaheim.
Potential suitors — the Angels included — will have to determine precisely how much to buy into Cobb’s renewed success. His repertoire wasn’t much different than it had been in recent seasons. Cobb continued to lean on his sinker (40%), split (37%) and curveball (16%) while occasionally mixing in a four-seam fastball, as he had in Baltimore. His pitch velocity, spin and movement haven’t changed much. But Cobb has excelled at avoiding the heart of the plate and getting opposing hitters to chase pitches outside the strike zone, leading to a personal-best 11.6% swinging strike rate.
Cobb certainly benefitted from a bit of good fortune in the home run department. Even after coughing up two long balls against Texas today, his season-long HR/9 mark winds up at just 0.48. Teams wouldn’t be able to count on Cobb being quite that successful at keeping the ball in the yard moving forward, but he did execute pitches consistently enough on the whole to put together a quality bounceback season.
As is typically the case, the Angels look likely to target rotation help over the offseason. Shohei Ohtani will continue to star in his two-way role, and Patrick Sandoval earned a spot in next season’s group before suffering a season-ending back injury. José Suarez will likely hold down a spot as well, but Cobb’s departure would still leave at least two spots in the rotation to be addressed. Griffin Canning remains on hand, and top prospect Reid Detmers should get another chance at some point in the year. But injuries and/or underperformance often force teams to lean on seven or eight starters over the course of a season. Adding some veteran certainty to that group, whether Cobb or external upgrades, figures to a top priority for Minasian and his staff yet again.
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I’m surprised how good Cobb ended up being this season. Minasian got a lot of flak at the time he pulled that trade off. It seems like a somewhat common thing for some starting pitchers to get better as soon as they leave Baltimore.
his first month was brutal. i guess pitching coaches made some changes.
Cobb sucked with Baltimore and did not earn one dime of his contract. However, this year was a contract year and 95% of major league players step up a couple of notches for the contract year. It’s a miracle how Cobb shook off his injuries for this season, a miracle I tell you.
2 years @ 5 mil each.
10 mil too much
Angels should of signed Wheeler a few years ago. Not sure what stopped the Angels from spending BIG
wheeler wanted to stay in ugly coast. what could angels do?
This is the right answer fans still don’t seem to understand. Few free agents want to play on the west coast, even if it’s the Dodgers.
I think an incentive laced 2 year deal for Cobb would be appropriate maybe maxing out out 5m per year.
A reunion depends on if they think Sandoval and Suarez have another step forward/leap in them.
Because Angels have long needed TOP of the rotation arms, not a bunch of 3,4,5 type starters that are solid and eat innings.
Th Angels have actually needed both, and have gotten neither.
Angels will offer $8M/1 and Cobb will sign for $20/2 elsewhere. “We tried.”
which ever team signs him for that much is run by a f/o dumber than the angels’.
I don’t see any team paying 20m for Cobb. If he has a good year next season he might come closer but he’s not a youngster. I think the highest AAV would be 5m over 2.
I think Cobb deserves a one-year $8M deal. However, I would bet that he’ll land a two-year $18-20M contract because every offseason teams panic and overpay for pitchers like him. Cobb should have a nice offseason.
Incentive based contract. $2,000,000 + $2500 per pitch. Throw in $1000 for each pick off attempt.
I find it interesting how starting pitching supposedly is their biggest upgrade when all but four of their hitters were terrible this year. They suck at hitting and need to improve that, while being smart enough to not give out a $300M/10 year contract to one of the top SS on the free agent market who will only be worth it for the first five years.
What hitter are the suppose to replace? Fletcher? Walsh? Hitting is not there problem
They need a real SS
As long as the Angels can remain healthy next season, they will have an explosive lineup. Just need a starting SS and a catcher to platoon with Stassi.
OF Trout / Marsh / Adell / Upton
C Stassi / ???
Angels need two front line starters. If they can only land one ace caliber pitcher, then (and only then) would I consider resigning Cobb, but he’s at best an extra injury-prone #4 pitcher—Angels have plenty of those. The Angels will likely go with a six-man rotation again next season due to Ohtani and this could benefit an older starter like Scherzer or Verlander, who may not want to tax their arm as much.
Angels 2022 rotation needs to look something like this to be serious contenders.
Top pitching prospects Detmers and Bachman still need another year in the minors, in my opinion. But I’m sure Detmers will be called up again at some point next season.
I don’t think they need two front line starters nearly as much as they need a bullpen. What good is it Ohtani going 7 strong innings only to have the bullpen implode?
The bullpen is primary, because without it, we’ve all seen what happens. Or hasn’t that registered yet?
I was going to add a note about needing to resign Iglesias and at least 3 solid relievers (1 lefty) to hold on to the leads. But I seriously think they need 2 front line pitchers. What were to happen if they land Verlander but he winds up on the injured list? We’re exactly back to where we are today… and that’s not good. We really need two top starting pitchers to become serious contenders. The bullpen is another story…
Ohtani is a front line starter. They need two or three guys to pitch like number threes. They can add 1 top end of the rotation starter who doesn’t have to be an ace.
The Angels need a closer. Two relief pitchers with a recent history of success, who are likely to be successful in 2022, and two relief pitchers who have a good to reasonable shot at being effected. And then maybe a couple of the current fodder squad can step up.
That’s five Relief Pitchers. Other than Iglesias, Their bullpen is the fodder squad.
don’t forget sam bachman who the angels gm thinks can pitch in the bigs now.
Robbie Ray can’t even make an Angels’ fan hypothetical wish list? Wow
Angels fans are looking at their win-now window with Ohtani still on board. I think they would rather go with 3 years of Max than 5 years of Ray.
don’t forget reid detmers..
Is there a rush to extend a guy with 3.5 good seasons out of 10?
I’m always wary of players in their contract yr. They always seem to fall apart as soon as they dot the eyes and cross the T’s I’d give him 1 yr. with a team option and incentives.
Would not sign him
Yep it is
This team is incapable. Of hiring a decent GM and said GM building a pitching staff.
Kind of like your ability to write a sentence.
Howdy Fregosi. Haven’t seen you in a while.
Angels & NL West
My 2 cents on some upcoming FA SP:
-Kershaw and Scherzer will re-sign with the Dodgers,
-Thor will re-up with the Mets as will Gausman with the Giants,
-Grienke is no longer a TOR arm, and
-Verlander will struggle coming back from TJS given his age and the mileage on his arm.
If the guesses above are remotely accurate, I can see the Angels re-signing Cobb and signing a FA SP or trading for a SP.
The Angels need so much help throughout their entire pitching staff that it doesn’t seem realistic to think they’ll be able to field a staff worthy of contention after one offseason. They’ll go the same route they’ve gone for years, adding along the fringes for cheap and hoping it pans out while also hoping that the young pitchers make major leaps. Oh, but they’ll end up with one of Story/Seager/Correa.
It hasn’t worked out yet, and it probably won’t going forward. Maybe the next GM will try something different, but I doubt it while Moreno is still around pulling the strings. Oh, and for anyone thinking there’s even a remote chance that Scherzer or Kershaw would leave the Dodgers to join the Halos, there’s no way. Why would they leave one of the best organizations in baseball to join this dumpster fire? It’s not happening.
I could see Cobb going back to Tampa Bay if the price is right. I could also Bloom possibly bringing him to Boston. If a team signs both Cobb and Rich Hill and alternate their starts you have a decent 5th starter
I think Cobb will get 2yr/9 mil. Someone will pay that among the lower tier teams. I think Halos will pass. They need healthy arms, not oft injured rotation pieces that only can muster 100 innings.
He’s only good in a contract year.
The real problem not a decent baseball GM wants to play for the Angels.
The fact that they haven’t talked to Cobb is stunning. He can’t legitimately be a #4 starter.
We need to sign scherzer and Castro and all cost.
Iglesias needs to be resigned and Cishek.
Another bullpen arm would help.
The fact that 19 starts and 93 IP by a 34 year old pitcher puts him in line for a multi-year deal says a lot about the state of the game and more specifically, the frailty of SP!