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Alex Cobb is eligible to become free agent for first time

The Rays will extend a qualifying offer to Alex Cobb for 2018, according to a report from MLB Network Insider Jon Heyman on Sunday.

The club has not confirmed the report.

The 30-year-old right-hander is a free agent this offseason after spending his first six Major League seasons with Tampa Bay. Cobb made 29 starts and went 12-10 with a 3.66 ERA and 128 strikeouts in 179 1/3 innings in 2017, his second season removed from Tommy John surgery.


A qualifying offer is a one-year deal worth $17.4 million for 2018, the average salary of MLB's 125 highest-paid players. If a player who is extended a qualifying offer turns it down and signs elsewhere, the team that loses him receives a 2018 Draft pick as compensation. For a complete explanation of the new qualifying offer rules, click here.

Because the Rays are a revenue-sharing recipient, according to's Jon Paul Morosi, they could receive one of two Draft picks based on the rules of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. If Cobb signs with another team for at least $50 million, the Rays would receive a 2018 Draft pick between the first round and Competitive Balance Round A. If he signed for less than $50 million, they would receive a pick following Competitive Balance Round B, which comes after the second round.

All qualifying offers must be made by 5 p.m. ET on Monday, and players have 10 days to accept them.

That gives Cobb until Nov. 16 to decide whether to take the qualifying offer, stay with the Rays for one more season and become a free agent following 2018, or test the free agent market now.



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