Going into the 2017-18 offseason, the top starting pitchers available on the market were Yu Darvish, Jake Arrieta, Lance Lynn and Alex Cobb. This offseason was slow to develop for these pitchers and even position players. February 13 saw the first of them get signed -- Yu Darivsh signed a six-year, $126 million deal with the Cubs. The Cubs signing Darivsh meant the Cubs were moving on from Arrieta, who signed with the Phillies on a three-year, $75 million deal. Lynn came into the offseason seeking a multi-year deal but had to settle on a one-year, $12 million contract with the Twins.

Cobb was the only one of those four pitchers without a contract, until yesterday.

Cobb signs

Yesterday, Alex Cobb and the Orioles reached an agreement on a four-year, $57 million deal -- according to Jon Heyman of FanRag sports. Cobb joins an Orioles pitching staff that combined for a 4.97 E.R.A. last season.

Coming into the offseason, Cobb was seeking a multi-year deal. Earlier in the offseason, Cobb rejected a 3-year, $42 million deal which was offered to him by the Cubs. Cobb was hoping that he would land a better deal, and ultimately, he did.

Last season with the Rays in his first full season after coming back from Tommy John surgery, Cobb went 12-10 with a 3.66 E.R.A. over 29 starts. At the conclusion of the 2017 season, the Rays made a qualifying offer for Cobb which was a one-year deal worth $17.4 million.

As Cobb was looking for a multi-year deal, he rejected the qualifying offer.

Due to Cobb being attached to draft pick compensation and the fact that he signed for over $50 million, the Orioles must forfeit their third highest pick in the 2018 draft which is pick number 51. Pick number 51 now becomes the Rays' pick which is Cobb's former team.

Orioles' rotation for 2018 season

Cobb joins the Orioles' rotation which consists of homegrown talent in Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman, Chris Tillman (who the Orioles re-signed this offseason) and newcomer Andrew Cashner (who they also signed this offseason).

Bundy led the team last season in wins with 13 and he finished the season with an E.R.A.

of 4.24 which is quite high for a team best. Gausman led the way with the most strikeouts with 179. Tillman struggled with the Orioles as he finished the season with an E.R.A. of 7.84, but he is looking to bounce back from a dreadful season. Cashner (last year with the Rangers) went 11-11 with an E.R.A. of 3.40.

The new Orioles rotation is set to be a lot better than last year but in order for the O's to win games, the defense will have to be spot-on, as Cobb, Cashner, and Tillman are prone to giving up a lot of hits.