The Cubs offered free-agent starting pitcher Alex Cobb a three-year contract worth $42 million, as David Kaplan of NBC Sports Chicago reported on the network’s recent CubsTalk Podcast.
Kaplan says that while Cobb was interested in the deal, he followed his agent’s advice and rejected the offer. The Cubs would be willing to put that deal back on the table “in a second” if Cobb changes his mind, according to Kaplan.
Cobb, 30, has been connected to the Cubs all offseason, particularly because of his history with Chicago manager Joe Maddon and pitching coach Jim Hickey, both of whom he worked with in Tampa. The right-hander has spent his entire career with the Rays, posting a 3.50 ERA and 1.22 WHIP in 115 career starts over six seasons. He was solid in 2017, posting a 3.66 ERA and 1.22 WHIP with 128 strikeouts and 44 walks, though he allowed a career-high 22 home runs in 179.1 innings.
While Chicago already added free agent Tyler Chatwood this offseason, they’ve repeatedly been rumored to be pursuing another veteran starter to complement Chatwood, Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, and Jose Quintana. The Cubs reportedly met with Yu Darvish last month, and with Jake Arrieta’s market seemingly having failed to materialize, the possibility remains that they could seek a reunion with the 31-year-old starter. Other high-profile free-agent starters who remain on the market include Lance Lynn, Andrew Cashner, Chris Tillman, Jeremy Hellickson, Jason Vargas, and Jeremy Hellickson. Mike Montgomery, Eddie Butler, and Jen-Ho Tseng are internal candidates to fill the fifth starter slot.