The Houston Astros have sent the qualifying offer to Gerrit Cole and his agent this afternoon on the last day eligible to do so.
Free Agent Gerrit Cole got the expected $17.8 million qualifying offer from the front office of the Houston Astros. This is basically a mere formality that safeguards the Astros the eligible compensatory draft pick if he happens to sign elsewhere.
The $17.8 figure is pretty much an amount set by the rules agreed upon in the Collective Bargaining Agreement. The “qualifying offer” is a set number that is the average of the top paid 125 players in the Major Leagues.
This doesn’t mean that Cole and the Astros won’t or aren’t possibly discussing any type of future contract. If the offer isn’t put out today, the Astros would be forfeiting their right to that draft pick.
In fact, owner Jim Crane said today that there is actually a possibility that the Astros may go over the 2020 tax threshold. He and Jeff Luhnow have gotten pretty creative in the past, so I wouldn’t put anything past them. Crane even indicated they are looking at an attempt at keeping Cole.
"“We’re gonna take a run at it. We don’t know if we can get to where they wanna get…” Jim Crane said. via Mark Berman of Fox 26"
Gerrit Cole is expected to get offers in the range of $33 to $35 million a year with anywhere from a six to an eight-year contract. Cole would be 36 years old by the end of a six-year contract. There are already quite a few teams that have expressed interest in negotiating with Cole and his agent Scott Boras. They range from the New York Yankees to the Philadelphia Phillies to the opposite coast and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
All we can do is keep our fingers crossed and hope that something can get done to keep the dynamic duo of Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole together.