Rays to extend Alex Cobb a qualifying offer
Alex Cobb is a fine starting pitcher, and he’s the type of guy that any team in baseball would be happy to have. Red Sox fans in particular know Cobb, because him and his funky windup always seem to give Boston fits. Well, now the longtime Ray is set to hit free agency, and the Rays are reportedly extending him a qualifying offer. This is a big deal for the Red Sox, because he is the type of guy they would presumably look at if they were to look at starters in free agency. He’s not at the high end of the market like Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta, but he’s a solid mid-rotation arm. However, now that this qualifying offer has been extended, the Red Sox would have to give up their second-highest draft pick next summer along with $500,000 of their international free agency money. That seems like a high cost for someone like Cobb, particularly when we haven’t even gotten to the actual contract. It could make sense for some teams, but the Red Sox aren’t in a position where they have to be signing a starter who will also cost draft picks and international money.
Johnny Cueto staying San Francisco
It was a weekend of opt-out decisions, and the last major one to be made was with Johnny Cueto in San Francisco. There was some question about whether or not the righty would want to hit the open market. Just looking at his numbers from last year, it seemed like a pretty easy decision to stay. The righty had some uncharacteristic command issues and posted a 4.52 ERA on the season despite pitching in one of the worst hitters parks in all of baseball. However, there were also some rumors over the summer about how miserable he was in San Francisco, and that led some to believe he’d take advantage of a chance to get out. Instead, he declined to use his opt-out. It seems possible that the reports were overblown, and it’s hard for anyone to turn down four years of $22 million guaranteed. Although Cueto isn’t coming off a great year, he would have been an interesting free agent, and the market is now weaker without him or Masahiro Tanaka.
- Andre Ethier is a free agent after the Dodgers unsurprisingly declined his option. He really isn’t a great player anymore, but it is time to count down until someone writes a column saying the Red Sox should sign him solely due to his friendship with Dustin Pedroia. It is a Boston tradition.
- Bryan Shaw is not going to be back in Cleveland in 2018. The righty has been a staple of their bullpen for years, but the Indians want to look elsewhere for cheaper help. This is a big deal for the Red Sox, because they could be in the market for a setup arm. Shaw isn’t a huge name by any means, but he’d be a great fit in Boston if the price is right.