At the trade deadline midway through the 2021 season, the Los Angeles Angels were receiving significant interest for starting pitcher Alex Cobb. On an expiring deal in the midst of a really solid campaign, he had relatively high value among contending teams.
The Angels, almost at Cobb’s request, chose to hang on to him despite an injury and the team’s lack of contention. As the season ended and Cobb managed to put together a couple more good starts, he made it clear that his priority was to stay in Anaheim and re-sign with the Angels.
So much to the surprise of Angels fans, Cobb reached an agreement on a two-year, $20 million deal with the San Francisco Giants, the team announced Tuesday night.
— SFGiants (@SFGiants) December 1, 2021
On the surface, there is some reason for skepticism towards the Angels front office. Two years, $20 million with a $10 million club option on a third season seems like a perfectly reasonable price for a pitcher of Cobb’s caliber.
Given how much mutual respect and admiration there was between Cobb and the Angels front office, it felt like a certainty that a deal would get done. So why would the Angels not match this offer? Well, the answer could be as simple as Michael Lorenzen.
Lorenzen signed with the Angels on a one-year, $6.5 million deal. While this has yet to be confirmed, the reports have stated that L.A. plans to use Lorenzen as the sixth starter in their rotation. If that really is the case, it could give some insight into their decision-making process.
Cobb likely would have been the sixth starter in their rotation had he re-signed. Perhaps the Angels felt that $10 million per year for two years was too much money for a sixth starter. Lorenzen is also five years younger than Cobb and does not have quite as significant of an injury history.
Despite all this, no one would have been upset if the Angels brought Cobb back. Over time, there will likely be some stories as to how his negotiations with Perry Minasian went, and why he didn’t end up re-signing. Until then, the Angels will turn their attention towards building out the rest of their roster.
Raisel Iglesias returning on four-year deal
The Angels have not officially announced anything yet, but the reports are that closer Raisel Iglesias is returning to Anaheim on a four-year, $58 million deal. This is a massive deal for the Angels, as it solidifies the back-end of their bullpen and allows them to continue their search for starting pitching.