The SF Giants are set to rebuild the starting rotation this offseason and it sounds like they could be closing in on a quality move. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Giants are making a "strong push" to sign former Los Angeles Angels righty Alex Cobb.
Rumor: SF Giants are making "strong push" for veteran starter
Cobb just completed a four-year, $57 million contract that he inked with the Baltimore Orioles in March of 2018. He underperformed for much of that contract but finished on a high note following a trade to the Angels before the 2021 season.
The 34-year-old was originally drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays in the fourth round of the 2006 draft out of Vero Beach High School in Vero Beach, Florida. He debuted with the Rays in 2011 where he posted a 3.42 ERA in 52.2 frames as a rookie.
Interestingly, Cobb was a teammate of Evan Longoria's for his first six seasons in the majors. He likely crossed paths with Giants manager Gabe Kapler as well considering that Kapler finished out his career with the Rays in 2010.
By the time Cobb reached free agency after the 2017 season, he had established himself as a solid, mid-rotation arm but with durability concerns. The right-handed hurler only eclipsed the 150-inning threshold just twice in his first six seasons.
Despite this, the Orioles felt comfortable in giving him a lucrative, multi-year deal as a free agent. However, his tenure with Baltimore was disastrous as he posted a 5.10 ERA in 217 innings across three seasons.
The veteran starter found his footing with the Angels in 2021 as he registered a 3.76 ERA, 2.92 FIP, 1.26 WHIP, 9.5 K/9, and a solid 2.97 SO/W ratio in 93.1 innings. The strong SO/W ratio is the metric that stands out given that the Giants seem to be prioritizing it with prospective free-agent targets.
It bears mentioning that Cobb did miss time last season with a blister issue and a wrist injury, but he was effective when healthy. The Giants did a lot of legwork in rebuilding the rotation on Monday by re-signing Anthony DeSclafani (three years, $36 million) and Alex Wood (two years, $20 million - reported terms).
However, there is still work to be done and reeling in Cobb would give them another quality starter with good upside. Usually when talks get to a certain point where a player is connected specifically to one team, a deal gets done.
That is not to say that the Giants will actually be able to get a deal done but it feels as if discussions are far enough along where that is a likely outcome. If the Giants add a third piece to the rotation in Cobb, then they will really position themselves to make one or two more big splashes this offseason.