Astros right-hander Gerrit Cole is on a collision course with an enormous payday in the next few months. Arguably the most valuable impending free agent in baseball, the three-time All-Star expressed excitement Tuesday in regards to his potential trip to the open market, per Mark Berman of Fox 26 (video links).
“I’m looking forward to it,” said Cole. “I know what my right is as a player. Once I get six years of service time, my right is to be able to say yes or no to a place I want to play. So I’m excited to be able to exercise that right.”
That may make it sound as if Cole is ready to exit the Astros, but that isn’t necessarily the case. Houston, according to Cole, “checks a lot of the boxes. I expect them to be there when push comes to shove. I wouldn’t mind playing there for a lot longer.”
The feeling’s likely mutual for the Astros, with whom Cole has been brilliant since they acquired him from the Pirates entering the 2018 campaign. While Cole had plenty of high moments as a Pirate, he endured multiple seasons in Pittsburgh in which he battled injuries and didn’t prevent runs at ace-level rates. The Houston version has been durable and elite, though.
Not only is the hard-throwing Cole on pace for his second straight 200-inning season with the Astros, but he has a realistic chance to surpass the 300-strikeout mark. Cole leads the majors with a stunning 13.11 K/9, has walked just 2.31 hitters per nine and has logged a 3.09 ERA/3.00 FIP across 116 2/3 innings. Overall as an Astro, he owns a 2.95 ERA/2.81 FIP with 12.66 K/9 and 2.67 BB/9 through 317 frames. His 9.4 fWAR dating back to 2018 paces all American League starters and ranks third in the game, trailing only supreme aces Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom.
Scherzer’s a few offseasons removed from signing a seven-year, $210MM contract with the Nationals in free agency. Scott Boras, who also represents Cole, helped Scherzer secure that deal. Along with David Price and Zack Greinke, Scherzer is one of three pitchers to reel in $200MM-plus pacts to this point. The soon-to-be 29-year-old Cole, with Boras’ help, could angle to become the fourth by next season.
Scott Boras is his agent, huh? He won’t be signed until draft day next year.
Na prime top of the rotation starters with electric stuff and high strike out rates will get signed quicklynand for huge amounts I suspect he could get anywhere between 27 to 33 million for 6 years. It depends on if the Yankees and Dodgers get into a bidding war for him.
Who signed the top free agents the past 2 seasons?
He will if he or anyone else thinks he’s getting 200 mil.
Great player. I’m enjoying the ride. I’ll settle for two HOF caliber years and a QO.
He will come home and be an Angel
He will come home and be a Dodger
Well that wouldn’t be coming home since he is from Newport Beach. Lol
Yes Make it happen…
Cole, Ohtani, Heaney, Canning, anyone not named Cahill or Harvey.
It breaks my heart that Skaggs is not part of that list.
Ace of Diamonds
I wouldn’t be shocked if the three teams it comes down to is the Angels, Dodgers, and Padres.
Add the Yankees to that list and I totally agree. He’s a UCLA boy and that may mean something.
1% chance he stays an Astro.
1% chance he becomes a Yankee.
98% chance he signs with the Dodgers, Padres, Angels or Giants.
Are the A’s chopped liver?? Give them at least .0001%.
Yes, the A’s are chopped liver when it comes to free agency. Fancy Feast pate, if you will.
Dodgers..Chance of signing him.
Padres..Best chance to sign him.
Giants..I got a good laugh at that one.
Brother in law is the short stop for the Giants so there is a chance…. I agree that the Pads prob have the best chance.
That’s the Machado deja vu.
Some on here know his family.
You know he’s not smart,right?
Go ahead,ask him what color an orange is.
Spaces after commas kid.
Where will he sign?
Thanks for the levity Miguel Jr!!
He’s beginning his decline. It’s better to go ahead and be proactive. Put him on the waiver wire.
It seems that many of the writers and more than a few fans are assuming Cole will want to come to the West Coast.
Can the Padres afford to add another $25-30 million per season contract? If so, Cole is a nice fit at the top of their rotation. Cole (R), Lucchesi (L), Paddack (R), Lauer (L), and then some combination of Strahm and their prospects including Allen, Quantrill, and maybe even Gore by the end of 2020. That is a rotation that would keep their team in most games. If Paddack can continue to pitch in the low 3 ERA territory net season and Gore is as good as he has looked for their Lake Elsinore farm team then that is a scary good rotation in the coming years.
The Angels definitely have the money to sign him, especially with Calhoun, Cahill, Harvey, and Lucroy all coming off the books. With the unfortunate death of Skaggs they have a need both baseball wise and emotionally at the top of the rotation. Skaggs would have earned around $10 million in arbitration in 2020 so that is another consideration. Cole, Heaney, Canning, Bedrosian, and some combination of Suarez, Barria, and Ramirez would be decent although I think they would still need to add another reasonably priced vet like Zack Wheeler or Alex Wood.
Will the Dodgers spend big long-term money for a 30 year old player? I doubt it.
The Giants will need to make a splash after losing a big chunk of their rotation and bullpen to FA. Will they be willing to pony up $200 million for Cole in 2020 knowing they probably won’t contend again until 2021 or 2022?
Bedrosian is a reliever, not a starter…
And don’t forget Ohtani should be back on the mound next year.
I did forget about Ohtani. Cole, Ohtani, Heaney, Canning is a formidable front 4.
Cam has both started and come out of the pen this year and has better results starting and has expressed a desire to start, which is why I mentioned him.
Was that to be an opener though? I think it would be pretty tough to transition him into a starting pitcher after so many years in relief.
He started as an opener. He pitched one inning. He isn’t a starter.
Correct. Bedrosian is good for a maximum of 30-35 pitches.
Yankees missed on him once, not again. CC is leaving and the Pin stripes will flex their unmatched financial might and Cole will be a Yankee. Nobody can compete, if Hal wants him.
White Sox 2.5%
Minimum is Chris Sale’s Red Sox extension 5 Yrs $145M. Boras will push for 7 Yrs, probably with an opt out resembling CC Sabathia’s first Yankees contract. One of Cashman’s main regrets is passing on Cole after failing to sign him out of HS in ‘08 and then not trading for him in 2017. That combined with passing on Verlander due to Ownership’s mandate of resetting the luxury tax (Logical Move) likely cost the Yankees a World Championship. Astros don’t win the 2016 ALCS without JV.
My projection is Yankees sign Cole… and I believe it’s the reason they passed on Patrick Corbin….
7 Yrs $224M ($32M per Yr).
Signs with the Angels for 7 years 200 million.
Not an east coast guy.
Yep it is
He isn’t broke down enough or enough of a train wreck for the Angels to over pay on. Maybe if he blows out his arm then Eppler would be all over him.
He doesn’t have the track record of the $200m guys.
Anyway I guess Rangers.
If he finishes this year the way he started it, that’s 2 super-elite, healthy years. More than enough track record for a stupid enormous contract.
I dream of a 2020 rotation of Gerrit Cole, Lucas Giolito, Dylan Cease, Michael Kopech and hopefully Reynaldo Lopez can turn it around, or at the very least hold down a spot until Carlos Rodon or Dane Dunning can recover.
I’m with you, Sox have the money.
I agree White Sox it is.
The Sox have zero shot at him he wants to be in California I think it will come down to 3 or 4 teams the angels dodgers Yankees and padres and I think he ends up an angel they have a ton of money to spend and they are a front line starter or two from winning the division the angels bullpen has been so over used because our stop gap rotation failed so we had to go to a opener situation
Nah, If he is thinking $200 million + he won’t be signed by anybody.
Come to San Diego!