Alex Cobb became the third Oriole traded to the Angels in 14 months when the team finalized a deal Tuesday night to send the veteran right-hander to Los Angeles in exchange for young second baseman Jahmai Jones.
Cobb, who was in the final year of a four-year, $57 million contract with the Orioles, joins right-hander Dylan Bundy and infielder José Iglesias in Los Angeles after each saw the Orioles move on from them in the last year-plus.
Jones, 23, made his big league debut in 2020 and was the Angels’ eighth-best prospect entering the 2021 season, according to Baseball America. He immediately joins the Orioles’ infield mix, though the club could look to solidify the gains he made during the 2020 shutdown with some minor league repetitions as well. The former second-round pick is a career .258 minor league hitter with a .724 OPS.
Cobb ends his Orioles career, which started slowly in 2018 and featured a lost 2019 season due to injury, with a 5.10 ERA in 41 starts with a 1.419 WHIP. He was the most experienced pitcher on the Orioles’ staff by a wide margin. Now, reliever Paul Fry — with two and a half years of major league service time — is the pitcher with the longest tenure on the Orioles roster.
The Orioles will pay over half of Cobb’s $15 million salary for 2021, according to The Athletic. The deal required league approval because of the financial aspects of it.
[ [Signing pitchers like Alex Cobb didn’t help the Orioles. It’s time they develop their own starters. | ANALYSIS] ]
The veteran right-hander is owed $15 million in 2021, with $4.5 million of that deferred. His trade lowers the Orioles’ expected payroll to around $50 million, with nearly half that tied up in first baseman Chris Davis. Davis is not expected to play a significant role on the team.
According to multiple reports, including MLB Network, the Orioles began to address the gap Cobb will leave in their rotation by re-signing veteran left-hander Wade LeBlanc to a minor league deal Tuesday night.
Leblanc was a minor league signing for the Orioles last February as well, and recorded an 8.06 ERA with a 1.567 WHIP in six starts before his season ended with a stress reaction in his elbow.
While left-hander John Means tops the Orioles rotation and rookies Dean Kremer and Keegan Akin have clear paths to keeping the rotation spots they held at the end of 2020, LeBlanc joins other options including Bruce Zimmermann, Jorge López, Thomas Eshelman, Ashton Goudeau and Rule 5 draft picks Mac Sceroler and Tyler Wells.
Executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias said last week that the Orioles planned more additions to their pitching staff in the coming weeks.