After a surprisingly contending year in 2017, buoyed by a young core and some surprising pitching breakouts, the Milwaukee Brewers came into the offseason a clear favorite among the four other NL Central teams to challenge the Chicago Cubs atop the standings in 2018.
The team then added significantly in the outfield, trading for Christian Yelich and signing Lorenzo Cain. Oh my. Things are looking serious!
… but in the rotation, where there was arguably the biggest need even without considering Jimmy Nelson’s extended absence and uncertain return, the Brewers merely rolled the dice and added depth. The club signed Jhoulys Chacin and Wade Miley, and seems content to bank on Chase Anderson being real, Zach Davies finally turning the corner, and a young arm or two breaking out.
All that, despite there being a perfect fit still out there in free agency here as we sit just a few weeks shy of the regular season: Alex Cobb.
Yet, the Brewers are not sprinting to pounce:
RHP Alex Cobb remains on free agent market but I do not expect #Brewers to be in on him unless price comes down.
— Tom (@Haudricourt) March 12, 2018
As we have seen, there aren’t a lot of teams left in the market for a starting pitcher who (1) have the money available to make a signing, and (2) have the need to pull that trigger right now, in a competitive sense. The Brewers make so much sense for Cobb.
So, then, how to take that report? Well, I kind read the second part first: the Brewers are going to try to get a bargain on Cobb. And, given the market, unless he’s content to wait until after the draft to sign, anything he inks probably will be a bargain. Lance Lynn had to settle for one year and $12 million from the Twins, and I wouldn’t think Cobb – who reportedly turned down three years and $42 million from the Cubs at the start of the offseason – could do much better than Lynn’s deal at this point.
On the whole, I’ve very much hoping the Brewers (or sneaky Cardinals) do not land Cobb, because if they do, it’s probably going to be a fantastic contract. So, go … Orioles? Angels? Somebody?