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#pounditMonday, November 28, 2022

Cubs’ new pitching coach may give team better shot at signing Rays pitcher

With Jake Arrieta’s free agency looming, the Chicago Cubs may be positioning themselves to land another right-handed starter just in case.

Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reported on Thursday that the Cubs are hiring ex-Tampa Bay Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey to the same position.

Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports had reported Wednesday that whichever team landed Hickey could have an “enhanced chance” of signing Rays pitcher Alex Cobb, a free agent this winter, noting the close relationship between the two.

The 30-year-old Cobb, who went 12-10 last season with a 3.66 ERA, makes sense for the Cubs. With Arrieta and John Lackey hitting the open market, they have virtually zero rotation-caliber righties right now other than Kyle Hendricks. The Cubs also chased another right-hander at the trade deadline, so that interest should definitely carry over into this offseason.

Image via MLB on YouTube

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