O’s open arms, checkbook to sign starting pitcher Alex Cobb to four year deal

Alex Cobb of the Tampa Bay Rays. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

SARASOTA, Fla. – Wednesday, the Baltimore Orioles announced they have signed right-handed pitcher Alex Cobb to a four-year contract. Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY reports the deal will pay Cobb $14 million per season the first three years and $15 million in year four. To make room on the 40-man roster, right-hander Jose Mesa Jr. has been designated for assignment.

Cobb, 30, went 12-and-10 with a 3.66 ERA (73 ER/179.1 IP) and 128 strikeouts in 29 starts with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2017. Over a six-year Major League career, Cobb has gone 48-35 with a 3.50 ERA (272 ER/700.0 IP) and 570 strikeouts in 115 starts. He has started 22 or more games in four seasons, posting double digit wins each of these years.

Alex Cobb of the Tampa Bay Rays. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)

Since his debut in 2011, Cobb has made 48 starts against the American League East, going 21-13 with a 3.08 ERA (100 ER/292.1 IP). His ERA ranks fifth-best against the division during this time (min. 20 starts). In 2013, he started the AL Wild Card game against Cleveland, tossing 6.2 shutout innings and earning the win. He is 1-0 with a 1.54 ERA (2 ER/11.2 IP) in two career postseason starts.

Originally drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays in the fourth round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft, Cobb played six seasons with the Rays (2011-14, 2016-17).

Last season, the Orioles allowed the fourth-most runs in Major League Baseball while surrendering the second-most home runs to opponents.

Baltimore plays an exhibition game vs. the Norfolk Tides at Harbor Park Monday March 26th.