Teams looking to sign ace pitcher Gerrit Cole in free agency should get ready to unload their pockets.
According to ESPN‘s Buster Olney, a “highly-ranked evaluator” believes that the American League Cy Young Award candidate could open up with an ask upwards of $300 million.
A potential $300 million contract would exceed all precedent for pitchers in free agency. This contract would shatter the current record for the largest contract given to a pitcher, held by David Price since he signed a seven-year, $217 million deal with the Boston Red Sox ahead of the 2016 season. Cole, 29, would be the fifth player in baseball history to receive a $300 million deal. For what it’s worth, MLB Trade Rumors projects that Cole will ultimately land an eight-year/$256 million deal.
Although it is unknown whether he will reach that $300 million plateau, the consensus around baseball is that Cole will do very well for himself this offseason following a dominant 2019 campaign. He is a finalist for the American League Cy Young Award after leading the league in ERA (2.50) and all of Major League Baseball with 326 strikeouts.
Cole could be a huge addition for the Phillies, who will certainly need to improve their starting pitching in order to compete in 2020. Cole would immediately headline a rotation that ranked in the bottom-half in ERA and fWAR across baseball in 2019. The Phillies have been aggressive in spending money over the last few offseasons, making the Phillies and Cole an interesting potential pairing.
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