The Brewers have already added some depth to their pitching staff this offseason, but they could be looking for a bigger upgrade as they try to make the leap from surprise contender to postseason team in 2018.Milwaukee is in the mix for free-agent starter Alex Cobb -- the Brewers have
The Brewers have already added some depth to their pitching staff this offseason, but they could be looking for a bigger upgrade as they try to make the leap from surprise contender to postseason team in 2018.
Milwaukee is in the mix for free-agent starter Alex Cobb -- the Brewers have recently been in contact with the 30-year-old right-hander's representatives, a source told MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi on Sunday. The club has not commented on the report.
Cobb has spent his entire MLB career with the Rays. He went 12-10 with a 3.66 ERA in 179 1/3 innings in 2017, his first full season since undergoing Tommy John surgery in '15. For a Brewers team that fell just short of the playoffs last season but has an up-and-coming rotation, Cobb could be a valuable addition.
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Jimmy Nelson, Chase Anderson and Zach Davies all had breakout seasons for Milwaukee in 2017. But Nelson, who emerged as the staff ace, is recovering from surgery to repair a partially torn labrum in his right shoulder and is expected to miss the start of the 2018 season. Cobb could provide a stabilizing veteran presence while Nelson is out and give the Brewers a deep rotation once Nelson returns.
The Brewers recently added to their rotation by signing right-hander Jhoulys Chacin. They also brought back veteran Yovani Gallardo, who pitched in Milwaukee from 2007-14, in the hopes he might be able to bounce back after a couple of down seasons with Baltimore and Seattle. But Cobb is one of the higher-profile starters available.
Milwaukee isn't the only National League Central team linked to Cobb, though. The division-champion Cubs are considered one of the favorites to sign him, according to Morosi, especially due to his significant connections with the team's coaching staff. Cobb worked with new Cubs pitching coach Jim Hickey and manager Joe Maddon with the Rays.
David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler.