New York Yankees: The case for signing Alex Cobb

HOUSTON, TX - JULY 31: Alex Cobb (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - JULY 31: Alex Cobb (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

The Yankees are under the luxury tax and pitching depth is always a must. Would a six-man rotation with Alex Cobb be the ideal situation for the Yankees?

The New York Yankees have been active this offseason in every market. They brought in Giancarlo Stanton in the monster trade with the Miami Marlins and traded away veteran corner infielder Chase Headley to the San Diego Padres. They re-signed CC Sabathia to a one-year, $10 million contract, and, most recently, brought in Jace Peterson and Wade LeBlanc, a former Yankee for one inning in 2014, on minor league contracts with invitations to major league spring training.

Per Spotrac, the Yankees are at a team salary of $157,870,357, which means that they have about $39 million to work with before they reach the luxury tax threshold of $197 million. The question is, do the Yankees need to spend it?

They seem to be settled with the team they currently are putting on the field, which includes a starting rotation featuring 23-year old superstar Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Sabathia, Sonny Gray, and second-year southpaw Jordan Montgomery. Two of those players, Tanaka and Sabathia, have struggled recently with injuries; Tanaka with his elbow and Sabathia with his knee.

One possible solution to the risk the Yankees are taking with their injury historied rotation: Alex Cobb.

There are still many All-Star players available in free agency, and I’m not saying that Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta are bad players. The Yankees have been linked to Darvish for a couple of weeks now and Arrieta is a more expensive Cobb. But the real question is, who is Alex Cobb?

Alex Cobb, 30, was drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays in the fourth round of the 2006 MLB Draft. He has had a successful career so far, going 48-35 with a 3.50 ERA in 115 starts. In 14 starts against the Yankees, he is 6-4 with a 2.99 ERA.

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Aside from his Tommy John riddled 2015 and 2016, Cobb has been very healthy and very consistent in his career. Last year, however, was a downfall from the seasons prior to Tommy John. He went 12-10 with a 3.66 ERA in 29 starts, which is a career high in a season for him.

Now that I have shown you the stats, the final question is, why would the Yankees want Cobb?

Cobb started off last year very shaky but calmed down toward the end. The Yankees saw that first hand as he has been very strong in his career versus not only the Yankees but the entire AL East.

Cobb is 6-2 with a 2.70 ERA in 12 starts versus Baltimore, 6-4 with a 3.43 ERA in 14 starts versus Boston, and 3-3 with a 3.23 ERA in eight starts against Toronto. His success in the AL East would hopefully continue if he stayed within the division.

He may have dealt with injuries in his career, but not as much as other starters in New York’s rotation like Sabathia and Tanaka. Plus, using a six-man rotation may be a smart move for the Yankees to try to lessen the innings that each starter throws during the season.

Next: Will Jordan Montgomery hold on to his 2018 starting spot?

Recently, the offseason has been so quiet we could hear a pin drop, and that pin represents the price of free agents. The Yankees have some money to spend and Cobb may be somewhat affordable. If the Yankees do get Alex Cobb, I could see a four-year deal with an average salary in the range of $15 million.