The world is still buzzing about the New York Yankees signing Gerrit Cole to the biggest contract for a pitcher in Major League Baseball history. The impact of Gerrit Cole to the Yankees will have lasting effects on the rest of the league. So we look at what Cole to the Yankees means for baseball.
COLE TRAIN IN THE BRONX
It’s been a long courting process for Brian Cashman, but he finally got his pitcher. We had a piece about what Cole means to the Yankees. But when you look now at the Yankees rotation, they now have their ace. And the rest of their rotation slots in perfectly. Jon Heyman would state on MLB Tonight that the Yankees have their Ace and then three “number 2” type starters behind him. Luis Severino, James Paxton, and Masahiro Tanaka will now fall into more comfortable positions. Whatever the Yanks decide to do with the fifth slot in the rotation is the only real question. There is the possibility that JA Happ gets traded to offset a little bit of the $36 Million that Gerrit Cole will make in 2020. However, regardless of the logistics of the fifth spot in the Bombers rotation, the Yankees now have their Ace.
ANGELS ARE HUNGRY
One club that was very much in on Gerrit Cole was the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Angels were are in the midst of a rough stretch and haven’t been to the playoffs since 2014. Anaheim has the best player in Major League Baseball history (in my opinion) in Mike Trout. And Trout has only reached the playoffs once in his nine-year career. Now having lost out on Gerrit Cole, the Angels are likely to pivot and add more for that same value. Names like Anthony Rendon and Josh Donaldson are going to be on the radar of the Halos. Especially when you consider the vacancy created by the trade of Zack Cozart. The Angels are still in need of pitching help, so names like Hyun-Jin Ryu, Dallas Keuchel, or Madison Bumgarner may be names that they now target.
The Angels can also make a massive splash by calling the Red Sox. Should the Angels work a deal to bring in Mookie Betts and David Price, the Angels can immediately quell the hurt of missing Gerrit Cole. Pairing Mookie Betts with Mike Trout, Justin Upton, and Andrelton Simmons could push them even with the Astros in 2020.
DODGERS WANTED COLE TOO
Reports have listed the Dodgers’ pursuit of Gerrit Cole to be near the same level as the Yankees. And the Dodgers were willing to go above and beyond any previous free-agent offer to sign the best pitcher ever to hit the market. The Dodgers are also, like the Angels, in a position to go after another pitcher. And all the aforementioned named pitchers would also work for the Dodgers. It’s also known that Dodgers are “IN” on Anthony Rendon. Reports have stated that the Dodgers have informed their current third baseman, Justin Turner, to work out at other positions.
With Gerrit Cole now off the board, there are a plethora of possibilities for all teams looking to improve. And the rest of the offseason can move as quickly as these Winter Meetings have moved.