The Winter Meetings are underway, but the scuttlebutt on Gerrit Cole doesn’t look good for the Astros.
Fans all over the game of baseball are wondering if star free agent pitcher Gerrit Cole will leave the Winter Meetings with a new contract. It’s certainly possible, as the bidding seems to be ramping up. But the latest rumors don’t bode well for the Astros.
The team, of course, has interest in bringing back their ace, but it’s doubtful they could afford to sign him to the type of contract he will command. There could very well end up being a bidding war between a pair of teams who can stomach it much more than the Astros could, and it could take place during these Winter Meetings.
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The Yankees are currently viewed as the frontrunners for Cole’s services. It’s been reported that their ownership has given the front office the green light to offer a record amount of money to lure Cole to the Bronx, which means they can probably outbid anyone thanks to their deep pockets. Their initial offer is expected to be for seven years and $245 million.
They also reportedly have made Cole their priority this offseason, and it’s also been reported that Cole is expected to accept the largest offer, regardless of the geographical location of the team. It had previously been reported that he wanted to play close to home in California, but that might not be much of a consideration for him at this point.
With that in mind, the Yankees appear to be in the driver’s seat for Cole, but it’s far from a done deal. The Angels are also in the mix as well, and they could be prepared to match the Yankees dollar for dollar. They have just as big of a need for Cole, if not a greater one, and they’ve not shied away from handing out big contracts to free agents.
The Dodgers may also be in the mix as well, though they seem to have their eyes on any number of players rather than just focusing on Cole. The Astros, meanwhile, are already up against the luxury tax barrier and simply may not be able to commit the kind of money that would be needed to win this bidding war.
Of course much can happen over the course of the Winter Meetings, and there will undoubtedly be new information coming out as we go along. But for the time being, the Astros don’t appear to have much chance to come away from the Winter Meetings with Cole in tow.