No, the LA Angels Aren’t “Better Off” Without Gerrit Cole
This is something LA Angels fans have started to claim throughout the Twitterverse. The idea that the Halos are better without signing Gerrit Cole to the monster deal he now has with the Yankees.
However, that couldn’t be further from the truth for the LA Angels. There was one single solitary need that the Halos has more than anything this offseason, and it was starting pitching. Not just any innings eating starter, but a true front-of-the-line ace. Gerrit Cole would have been that, and so much more.
Even with the nine-year, $326 million contract, the Angels still would be a better team for 2020 and beyond if they had been able to attain Cole’s services.
When it comes to winning a World Series, you need an ace pitcher. Starting pitching is king in the postseason, and any team hoping to contend needs that one arm they know they can rely on.
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The Angels could maybe, possibly, perhaps have that in Shohei Ohtani. However, Gerrit Cole would have a been a definite ace, and raised their ceiling considerably higher.
Another argument for the idea of giving Cole this contract is that the Angels won’t get this opportunity to sign a free agent ace for two, three, four years? Maybe more. Here’s a list of the top free agent starters for each of the next four offseason.
2020: Trevor Bauer, Marcus Stroman, Jose Quintana, Masahiro Tanaka
2021: Noah Syndergaard, Clayton Kershaw, Corey Kluber, Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander
2022: Aaron Nola, Luis Severino, Jacob Degrom
2023: Blake Snell
So, as you can see, there aren’t many pitchers of Cole’s level here. Of the ones who are on par with the Yankees’ ace, they’ll be much older when they hit free agency. There’s also possible retirements and extensions that could make this market even weaker.
While Anthony Rendon is a phenomenal all-around player and as good of a fallback option possible, the Angels absolutely needed Gerrit Cole to open up their window of contention. Without him, this team could be a rock solid regular season team, but if they make it to the postseason, they’ll regret not going all-in for Gerrit Cole even more.