The Cubs and Dodgers are both interested in trading for Rays starter Alex Cobb, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.
In a detailed report about Cobb opening up to the possibility that he may not pitch for the Rays much longer, Topkin writes that “there are whispers of potential interest elsewhere” and that the defending World Series champion Cubs and the Dodgers, who lost to the Cubs, 4-2, in the NLCS, have ties to Tampa Bay that could lead to a deal for the righty.
The Cubs’ connection is manager Joe Maddon, who managed the Rays from 2006-14, and the Dodgers’ connection is Andrew Friedman, their President of Baseball Operations who was the former Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations and General Manager of the Rays.
Cobb is looking to rebound this season after not having pitched a lot over the last two years following a 2013 season in which he went 11-3, posted a 2.76 ERA in 22 starts and a 2014 campaign in which he went 10-9 and had a 2.87 ERA in 27 starts.
In 2015, Cobb never got to pitch after he tore his UCL and had Tommy John surgery. Last season, he returned late in the year and went 1-2 with a 8.59 ERA and a 1.73 WHIP in 22 innings.
This spring, Cobb has posted a 3.24 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP in three starts totaling 8 1/3 innings. He could boost the depth of both the Cubs and Dodgers’ rotations.
The Cubs have 2015 Cy Young award winner Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester and John Lackey while the Dodgers sport three-time Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw, Kenta Maeda, Brandon McCarthy, Rich Hill and Alex Wood. Los Angeles has dealt with some injury issues so far this spring as well.