Alex Cobb: 2 years, $20,000,000 through 2024
In light of recent news, Alex Cobb's $20 million contract is another tough one to swallow, and it puts the Giants between a rock and a hard place. On Oct. 30, it was announced that Cobb would undergo hip surgery after having issues with it throughout the season, which would keep him down for six months. This contract is a sticky one for the Giants more than Cobb, given that they have a club option this year. On a human level, it wouldn't be the coolest thing to drop Cobb, but on a money level, it could be the best thing for them to do.
He pitched the most innings for the Giants in 2023 behind Logan Webb, with 151 1/3, and finished with a 3.87 ERA, 131 strikeouts, and only 37 walks. These numbers were incredibly similar to the ones he put up in 2022, his first year in San Francisco, which pointed to a promising level of consistency from their No. 2 pitcher.
But Cobb is 36 this year and does have a history of injury. If he's able to recover from his surgery quickly, there's a small likelihood that he'll be somewhat recovered by the start of the 2024 season, but it would be unwise for the Giants to use him in the same capacity as they have in previous seasons. Cobb might return as a spot reliever toward the end of the season, at best, and rehab in Triple-A before then.
So the Giants have to make the decision: exercise their club option and cut Cobb loose at a fraction of what they would pay him for the entire year, or potentially spend $10 million in 2024 on a pitcher who won't be able to do much work for them, but has done good work for them in the past. It's an unenviable decision, to say the least.