Gerrit Cole

Chaim Bloom reacts to Gerrit Cole signing with Yankees

Chaim Bloom reacts to Gerrit Cole signing with Yankees

Chaim Bloom is well-aware of just how big of a move the Yankees made when they signed Gerrit Cole to a nine-year, $324 million contract on Tuesday. But the Red Sox chief baseball officer is staying patient.

Speaking to reporters Wednesday at the Winter Meetings in San Diego, Bloom addressed the Cole signing and noted the importance of the front office not being too reactionary in their approach to the offseason.

"Look, we want to beat the Yankees as badly as anybody, trust me,” Bloom said. “I think it’s just a question of us being able to step back and say, ‘What is the best approach for us to do that?’ The more we feel like we’re being reactive to other teams’ moves, I think the more we’re playing their game. We might be pushing ourselves further from that objective rather than helping ourselves.”

Bloom was the Tampa Bay Rays' senior vice president of baseball operations prior to joining the Red Sox, so he's no stranger to seeing both Boston and New York making noise in the offseason. His experience with a much lower payroll in Tampa helped him learn to not be distracted by the big splashes made by division rivals.

“Having had the good fortune of being in this division for a long time, I’m kind of used to seeing the Yankees, and the Red Sox for that matter, do things over the years,” Bloom said. “It didn’t change things that much in terms of how I reacted to that. I think it’s one of the great things about the challenges of being in, what has been over the course of time probably the toughest division maybe in all of pro sports. You expect the standards to be very high and you expect your rivals to be constantly looking to improve, constantly find ways.

"The approach from team to team might vary, but you expect them to constantly be doing things to make themselves better. It’s important to not get distracted by that. It’s important to focus on your own club and how you can accomplish your goals.”

The Red Sox have made it clear they're aiming to shed payroll ahead of the 2020 season, so don't expect any Cole-like deals for Boston any time soon. Instead, prepare for stars like David Price and/or Mookie Betts to be shipped out of town before Opening Day.

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2020 World Series odds: Gerrit Cole-to-Yankees a wake up call for Red Sox

2020 World Series odds: Gerrit Cole-to-Yankees a wake up call for Red Sox

The New York Yankees are all in on 2020.

The Yankees landed the prize of the free-agent class Tuesday night, reportedly agreeing to a nine-year, $324 million contract with right-hander Gerrit Cole.

Adding one of the top pitchers in Major League Baseball gives the Yankees a ridiculously loaded starting rotation led by three hurlers with multiple All-Star appearances:

1. Gerrit Cole
2. Luis Severino
3. Masahiro Tanaka
4. James Paxton
5. Domingo German/Jordan Montgomery

Add that star-studded pitching staff to a fearsome lineup that led MLB in runs scored last season, and you could argue the Yankees, on paper, have the best team in baseball.

The sportsbooks apparently agree: Hours after New York reportedly landed Cole, New Jersey sportsbook PointsBet made the Yankees the co-favorites to win the 2020 World Series along with the Los Angeles Dodgers at +450 odds.

The Boston Red Sox aren't too far behind, as PointsBet has them at +1200 odds, tied with the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves for fourth-best in MLB.

But the Yankees acquiring Cole certainly puts the Red Sox on notice.

Boston finished 19 games back of the Yankees in the American League East last season while missing the playoffs, and its longtime rival appears to have widened the talent gap.

That puts the pressure on Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and his staff, who must decide whether to keep Mookie Betts entering the final year of his contract or trade the superstar outfielder while his value is still high.

Another item on Bloom's agenda is what to do with pitcher David Price, who reportedly is garnering interest at MLB's Winter Meetings as a potential trade piece to help Boston get under the luxury tax.

It's worth wondering, however, if New York acquiring Cole changes the calculus for Boston: Could the Sox really offload Betts and/or Price knowing that their AL East rival is gearing up for a World Series run?

We'll find out soon enough.

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MLB rumors: 'Mystery team' joins Yankees, others in Gerrit Cole pursuit

MLB rumors: 'Mystery team' joins Yankees, others in Gerrit Cole pursuit

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.

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.

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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