Reports surfaced earlier today that the Rays have been in talks with the Cubs about a trade for young slugger Javier Baez. As for a possible return package for Chicago, most of the speculation has centered around late-inning relievers Jake McGee and Brad Boxberger and starters Drew Smyly, Matt Moore, Jake Odorizzi, and Erasmo Ramirez. However, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times hears that an interesting name has come up in talks:
Cobb wouldn’t be able to help the Cubs right away. The 28-year-old underwent Tommy John surgery in May and will likely be sidelined until the second half next year. There’s big-time upside if he comes back healthy, though. Cobb had a 2.82 ERA in 49 starts from 2013-2014.
Cobb made $4 million in 2015 and is arbitration-eligible for the second time this winter. He’s under team control through 2017.
Ken Rosenthal and Josh Tolentino of The Athletic report that Rays starter Blake Snell has switched agencies, going from Apex Baseball to Boras Corporation. Snell is currently signed to a five-year, $50 million contract and will be under contract through 2023.
Snell found himself in hot water two weeks ago when he said on his Twitch stream that he wouldn’t risk his life to play baseball during a pandemic while receiving significantly reduced pay. Some described Snell as tone deaf for saying, “I gotta get my money. I’m not playing unless I get mine, okay?”
Boras represents many of baseball’s highest-paid players, including Gerrit Cole and Bryce Harper. Snell is not likely to win over any of the people he recently irritated by appearing to go after more money by hiring the highest-profile agent. What often goes unsaid is that players have a very limited window in which to use their elite athletic skills to make money.
Snell won the 2018 AL Cy Young Award, going 21-5 with a 1.89 ERA and a 221/64 K/BB ratio over 180 2/3 innings. He did not have nearly the same success last year, going 6-8 with a 4.29 ERA and a 147/40 K/BB ratio in 107 innings.