The MLB offseason is in full swing, and free agent pitcher Gerrit Cole is the top player available and drawing interest from several teams.
MLB Network's Jon Heyman reported Tuesday that the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels and a mystery club are in on Cole.
Hear there’s a mystery team on Cole. Hard to imagine anyone thinks they are coming in late and outbidding the Yankees and 2 LA teams (even if one’s in Anaheim). No idea the identity of said team, but that’s why it’s a mystery.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 10, 2019
How much will teams need to spend to acquire Cole? Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports the veteran starting pitcher's next contract is expected to be worth more than $300 million.
Cole’s final payday is now expected to exceed $300 million — and not by a penny or two. Nine years at $324 million is $36M on avg per year and that is probably not a bad over/under. What Strasburg signed for would move me to take the over on Cole.— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) December 9, 2019
For some context, the Washington Nationals re-signed starter Stephen Strasburg to a seven-year, $245 million contract earlier this week, which is the most expensive deal ever given to a pitcher.
Cole is a fantastic pitcher, there's no doubting that. He posted a 20-5 record with a 2.50 ERA, 326 strikeouts and 0.86 WHIP in 2019. Cole also was a driving force in the Houston Astros reaching Game 7 of the 2019 World Series, where they lost to the Nationals.
The 29-year-old right-hander would be a tremendous upgrade to any rotation as a clear No. 1 ace. The Yankees are the most logical landing spot for Cole given their need for a No. 1 starter. New York might actually be the betting favorite to win the 2020 World Series if it lands Cole in free agency. The Dodgers also make sense as a potential destination. The National League West champs have deep pockets and a need for a proven playoff pitcher after Clayton Kershaw's latest October meltdown.
The Boston Red Sox would greatly benefit from Cole leaving the American League and signing with an NL contender such as the Dodgers. Cole going to the Yankees would be a huge blow to Boston's chances of reclaiming AL East supremacy next season.
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