This likely isn’t the Tampa Bay Rays pitcher many fans are hoping the Twins will pursue. Unlike Chris Archer, Alex Cobb is a free agent and would only take money to bring him into Minnesota. He is also not an ace-type that Archer would be but would be a very solidifying piece for the Twins rotation and a piece MLB Trade Rumors predicts will end up with the Twins for 4 years and 48 million.
In 2017, Cobb went 12-10 with 3.66 ERA over 179.1 innings. He has bounced back very well as a starter after missing the 2015 season due to Tommy John surgery. Throughout 2017, Cobb showed a progression towards his pre-surgery self. From 2016 to 2017, Cobb’s strikeout percentage increased from 15.4% to 17.3%. Also, his walk per nine rate decreased from 2.9 to 2.2 over that same time frame.
It looks as though one of the last steps of recovery for Cobb may be regaining control of his splitter that has lost velocity and he seems to have backed away from using. In 2014, pre-Tommy John, Cobb through his splitter 37.7% of the time and in 2017 only threw it 13.6% of the time. The decreased usage of the pitch may have partially resulted from the velocity of the pitch dropping from 87.9 mph to 85.9 mph. 2017 Cobb would be a big boost to the Twins, and if he continues to improve and inch closer to pre-Tommy John Cobb that would be a great bonus!