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A message to Rays fans from Alex Cobb

The veteran pitcher says saying goodbye after 12 years as he heads into free agency is bittersweet.
Alex Cobb delivers a pitch in a September game for Rays. [WILL VRAGOVIC / Tampa Bay Times]
Alex Cobb delivers a pitch in a September game for Rays. [WILL VRAGOVIC / Tampa Bay Times]
Published Nov. 16, 2017
Updated Nov. 17, 2017

Here is a message from RHP Alex Cobb after he officially left the Rays Thursday in declining their one-year, $17.4-milllion qualifying offer to seek a bigger and longer pact elsewhere:

"Getting to this point in my career is truly bittersweet.

"Twelve years ago the Rays welcomed me into their organization. Being able to play in the stadium that I grew up attending has been a dream come true.

"The two things that I'll truly miss the most are the friendships I've made and our fans. The relationships I've built not only with my teammates and coaches but also the front office and staff have played a major part of who I am today. I can't express how much I'll miss spending each day with my Rays family.

"And to the Rays fans I want to thank each and everyone of you for your unwavering support. Your words of encouragement meant so much to me during the highlights of my career, but they meant even more during the challenging ones.

"As difficult as it is knowing I won't be wearing a Rays uniform next year, I'm beyond excited to see what the next chapter of my career brings!"