AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File

Cubs could be targeting Alex Cobb in Javier Baez talks with Rays

3 Comments

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.

Giants hire Gabe Kapler as new manager

8 Comments

The Giants announced on Tuesday the hiring of Gabe Kapler as manager. Kapler, filling the extremely large shoes of future Hall of Famer Bruce Bochy, inked a three-year deal, Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports. Kapler was one of three finalists for the job, beating out Astros bench coach Joe Espada and Rays bench coach Matt Quataro.

Following his 12-year playing career, Kapler was a coach for Israel’s team in the 2013 World Baseball Classic qualifier. He then became an analyst for FS1 before joining the Dodgers’ front office as the director of player development in November 2014. He was involved in three scandals there: one in which he tried to handle a sexual assault incident involving two Dodgers minor league players without telling police, one in which he allegedly discriminated against Nick Francona, a veteran and former baseball operations employee, and an incident that implicated most of the Dodgers’ front office concerning the recruiting of international free agents. The Dodgers reportedly kept a spreadsheet of employees and their level of criminality.

Despite Kapler’s background, the Phillies hired him as their manager ahead of the 2018 season. He would lead the Phillies to an 80-82 record that year and then helped them improve by one game in 2019, finishing at exactly .500 before being fired. Kapler’s tenure in Philly was tumultuous, often drawing ire from the local media and subsequently the fan base for not being tough enough on his players. The Phillies also reportedly had a clubhouse issue in 2018 in which players were playing video games in the clubhouse during games, prompting Carlos Santana to smash a TV with a bat.

Kapler has a history with Farhan Zaidi, the Giants’ president of baseball operations. They worked together in the Dodgers’ front office as Zaidi served as GM from November 2014-18.