HOUSTON – The Brinks trucks are beginning to arrive around Major League baseball. The free agent frenzy is off and running.
The big mega-deal handed out on Monday involved Washington Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg who had opted out of his deal but has decided to remain with the World Series champs and will lock in on a 7-year deal reportedly worth $245 million.
Not a bad payday right?
Well, it’s only going to get bigger and better for Astros pitcher and free agent Gerrit Cole. When you have Scott Boras as your agent then good things normally happen and it will for Cole.
How much can Cole command now that Strasburg has his deal in place?
Everyone tied to Major League baseball is spending a few days at the winter meetings in San Diego where discussions and signing options are bantered about from early morning until late at night. Now the focus shifts squarely on the future landing spot of the former Astros Co-Ace. Yes that sounds odd to say it but there’s no chance Cole is returning to Houston. Now is his time to cash in and Boras is ready to make that happen.
The Yankees have made it clear they have serious interest in Cole and according to reports have ownership support to write a big check. The reports are endless including one out of New York that has the Yankees matching what Washington gave Strasburg (7 years, $245 million) and even others that suggest that Cole’s deal could top $300 million with the contract length perhaps reaching 9 years.
Boras will be aggressive to the interested teams that are serious about his client. At the end of the season, some believed this perhaps could drag into the spring before he secured a new home but reports out there now suggest Cole would like the process to begin. Several teams want him and are willing to pay a hefty price tag to land the big right hander.
Is a return to Southern California where he grew up still a factor? I think it is and the Dodgers and Angels will likely make a strong push and then there are the Yankees who are always in the conversation with their big budget but would Cole really be happy on the East Coast?
Only time will tell, but Strasburg’s decision to stay with the Nats will soon open the floodgates in baseball’s free agent frenzy and the spotlight is now squarely on Scott Boras and Gerrit Cole. We’ll see if a decision goes down this week or stretches out before a commitment is made.