4 former Astros Players We're Glad Are No Longer With the Club
By Eric Treuden
No. 1: RHP Gerrit Cole
Yes, Gerrit Cole, the man who struck out over 300 batters in 2019 and won 20 games that year is a player that many Astros fans are glad to have off the team.
Most of this could be because he left the Astros to join the "Evil Empire" in the Bronx, the New York Yankees, but there are other factors to take into consideration as well.
First off, Cole has emerged as a whiner in the press, remember this? MLB's recent crackdown on "sticky stuff" has affected him perhaps more than any other pitcher in the game. While he still has been successful post-crackdown (13-8 last year with 257 strikeouts and an All-Star Game selection), the numbers definitely dipped.
Then there's his issues with umpires last year when a few strikes didn't go his way. Beyond that? He blamed Billy Crystal's first pitch on why he wasn't on his A-game in a start against the Red Sox.
He's a damn good pitcher, but the negative press is starting to build.
Alongside his antics on the field, Cole is also a very, very expensive pitcher that the Astros just wouldn't want to keep on the payroll. He performed at an ace level during his two years with the club, but his gigantic nine-year, $324M contract is just insane and just is not a smart business move to make by any team. He's going to be 37-years-old by the time his contract expires (assuming he does not exercise his opt-out clause), which could very well backfire on the Yankees.
Again, Cole was an incredible pitcher for the Astros and remains one of the top arms in the American League. However, his contract is going to be an albatross down the line and Houston should be grateul to have avoided this pending mess.
Of course, Houston had the last laugh. Never forget...