The Angels desperately need starting pitching in order to compete for a playoff spot next season. The obvious target seems to be Gerrit Cole as he is the best free agent pitcher on the market. But should the Angels pursue him?
Many Angels fan are clamoring for the Angels to sign Gerrit Cole. Even Arte Moreno seems to be onboard despite the fact he does not like to deal with Scott Borass’ clients, which Cole is.
The match seems to be perfect. Cole is an ace quality pitcher, who is a local boy growing up near Anaheim and attending UCLA for college. Cole has said to be interested in pitching close to home as well. His career numbers are pretty good as well. Cole is 94-52 with a 3.22 ERA in seven seasons. He has a 1.129 WHIP and has struck out 1,336 batters and only walked 315. The last two seasons with the Astros, Cole went 35-10 overall with a 2.72 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP, with 602 strikeouts.
Those numbers are eye-popping to say the least. Despite all these positives the Angels should be weary of signing Gerrit Cole, and here is why I say this.
- Gerrit Cole is 29 years old and is wanting an eight-year contract which will make him 37 when the contract is over. I know Justin Verlander is 36 and still going as his recent Cy Young Award can attest to. But Verlander is the exception rather than the rule. Look at the decline of pitchers like Felix Hernandez, Jered Weaver, and C.C. Sabathia after age 30. Hernandez is 26-35 with a 4.90 ERA since turning 30. Sabathia is 60-60 with a 4.38 ERA since he turned 31 years old. Hernandez earned 102 million in those four seasons and Sabathia earned $170 million during the eight years since he turned 30 with only one solid year.
- Gerrit Cole took off his Astros hat right away after the team lost the World Series and put on a Borass Corporation hat. When asked about the Astros future.he said he was no longer part of the team 20 minutes after the game ended. Both are very tacky and unprofessional if you ask me and seems to indicate he is a “me first player” and he wants Borass to be his master of Quan and for him to “Show Him the Money” (Jerry Maguire movie references).
- Cole’s price tag is very big wanting a contract in the neighborhood of 8 years and 300 million dollars. This is between 37 and 38 million dollars per season. This will make adding another quality arm (I think the Angels need two solid above average starters in order to compete) very tough. It will also limit the Angels ability to get quality free agents in the future because they won’t have enough money to do so.
I think the Angels would be much better off going after a Stephen Strausburg with a price tag around 25 million dollars or a Zack Wheeler, Hyun Jin Ryu, Madison Bumgarner, Cole Hamels, or Dallas Keuchel. If the Angels could get Strausburg and one of these other pitcher that would go a long way in making them playoff-ready. Or Zack Wheeler or Ryu and Hamels or Keuchel.
More from Halo Hangout
- New York Post columnist has LA Angels bringing veteran starter back to LA
- Dodgers make wild mistake signing failed LA Angels starter
- Why LA Angels’ Qualifying Offer to Raisel Iglesias could become historical
- Both Gold Glove finalists for LA Angels getting snubbed is a complete joke
- Marcus Stroman definitely appears to be interested in the LA Angels
This would cost a lot less money than Cole and all could be had for probably a shorter deal. Bumgarner, Hamels, and Wheeler are not Scott Borass clients and might be easier to deal with as well. If it works out to get get Gerrit Cole for a more reasonable price (doubtful) or less years (maybe a six year deal) I would maybe be a little more inclined to go after Cole.
Although I still don’t like his character, but I have faith in Billy Eppler and Joe Maddon to make sure Cole doesn’t cause any issues.
Let the bidding wars begin! But please Billy and Arte think before you act. Is Gerrit Cole really worth it? I don’t think so.