MLB free agency is upon us and Gerrit Cole is one of the top prizes. He is coming off of a year where he went 20-5, with a 2.50 ERA and 326 strikeouts. Cole also held opposing batters to hitting a meager .186. Only 29, Cole is on track to pass David Price to sign the biggest pitching contract in history. Here are three potential landing spots for the elite righty.
Los Angeles Angels
The Angels made a splash by hiring Joe Maddon to be the new manager. The front office promised Maddon they would increase payroll in attempts to build a contender around Mike Trout. What would be better than signing the best pitcher in baseball who just happens to be a California Native?
Last year the Angels pitching staff finished second to last in the league in ERA with a 5.64. Signing Gerrit Cole to anchor the rotation would go a long way to returning the Angels to the postseason for the first time since 2014. He would join Shohei Ohtani who will be cleared to pitch again next season. Teaming up the best pitcher in baseball with the best position player would go a long way to returning the Angels to relevancy. Now this move alone wouldn’t make the Angels contenders, but it would go a long way.
This will only happen if Stephen Strasburg doesn’t re-sign with the Nationals.
In the past few years, General Manager Mike Rizzo has put an emphasis on starting pitching, and that is a big reason they just won the World Series. Last year the Nationals pitching staff finished second in the league in ERA with a 3.53 behind only the Los Angeles Dodgers. Going after Cole would fill the void of Stephen Strasburg. Cole would team up with Max Scherzer, Patrick Corbin, and Anibal Sanchez to form one of the best rotations in the league.
Washington will have just about $108 million in contracts on the books for next season. This leaves room for Washington to make a huge splash in attempts at winning back to back.
New York Yankees
The Yankees have increased their win totals over the last three years from 91 to 100 to 103. Despite the increase in wins, the Yankees have continuously gone home short of their goal. Last season it was evident the Yankees’ weakness was starting pitching, and they chose to avoid making a big splash to fix the issue. Now after losing in the ALCS twice in the past three years, the Yankees will need to add to their rotation in order to win their first title in over a decade. Cole would give the Yankees a workhorse with playoff success. In last year’s playoff run with the Astros, Cole went 4-1 with a 1.72 ERA, and 47 strikeouts.
The Yankees payroll for next season is already pushing $200 million and the luxury tax for 2020 is set at $208 million. But if the Yankees view themselves as one player away from the World Series, then they should go all in.
Featured Image From Dallas Morning News.
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