MLB Trade Deadline: Top 3 pitchers who have increased their value

SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 06: Dylan Bundy #37 of the Los Angeles Angels is greeted by Max Stassi #33 after securing the win in a complete game performance against the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park on August 6, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. The Angels beat the Mariners 6-1. (Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 06: Dylan Bundy #37 of the Los Angeles Angels is greeted by Max Stassi #33 after securing the win in a complete game performance against the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park on August 6, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. The Angels beat the Mariners 6-1. (Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images) /
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Alex Cobb
(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

At the MLB trade deadline, maybe teams kick the tires on O’s starter Alex Cobb.

It’s really hard to figure out what the Baltimore Orioles are going to do. No one expected this team to play as well as they have thus far, yet they are in the hunt for a playoff spot nearly halfway through the season.

The Orioles certainly aren’t going to be buyers at the deadline, but will they move any of their bigger pieces on the active roster, like starting pitcher Alex Cobb?

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Cobb signed a four-year/$57 million deal with Baltimore ahead of the 2018 season and it’s been a disaster ever since. Cobb went 5-15 with a 4.90 ERA in his first season with the Orioles and pitched just 12 innings last year due to injuries.

Luckily for Baltimore, Cobb has been fairly decent in 2020 and his trade value is the highest it’s ever been since joining the organization.

Cobb is 1-2 with a 3.76 ERA this season, striking out 21 in 26.1 innings of work and the knuckle-curve is working for him again. Trading Cobb, while his value is trending up, makes a lot of sense for a Baltimore team in need of more prospect talent, but moving him in 2020 may be a bit too difficult and it’s likely in the team’s best interest to keep him around, at least through the end of the season.

The Orioles starting pitching staff has struggled to work deep into games this season and the wheels are starting to come off for guys like Wade LeBlanc. Orioles general manager Mike Elias has been extremely hesitant when it comes to bringing up prospects (2019 Triple-A MVP Ryan Mountcastle is still in the minor leagues despite horrid play in the outfield) and arms like Tom Eshelman aren’t going to get through the final 30+ games of the season.

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Keeping Alex Cobb, hoping he remains healthy, and attempting to find an offseason trade partner or 2021 deadline deal may make more sense. However, don’t be surprised if MLB teams get desperate and come calling for Cobb.