Houston Astros flame thrower Gerrit Cole is doing something that the Dodgers aren’t doing right now… he’s still playing baseball. As we sit and gear up for the off-season, the thought shifts to him potentially playing baseball for Los Angeles next season.
The 29 year-old is reportedly a fan of the west coast, and California in particular. Now, MLB Network insider Jon Heyman took to the podcast circuit this week and identified the Dodgers as a player in Cole’s impending free agent sweepstakes.
It looks to me like it could be a Yankee/Dodger battle. The Dodgers have not done this in the past, they’ve basically drafted and developed well. They’ve tried to keep their own guys.
In the Guggenheim/Colletti and later Guggenheim/Friedman eras, the Dodgers have operated almost exclusively in-house when it comes to pitching. Not that much has been spent on any other position via the free agent market.
However, last off-season marked a somewhat surprising change for this front office. They went out and spent fairly lucratively on free agents AJ Pollock and Joe Kelly. After losing back-to-back World Series, it seemed to some as almost a panic move.
While they’ve imported big money in the past — namely the Gonzalez/Punto trade of 2012 — the bigger money has usually gone to retain “their guys.” Rich Hill signed a $48M deal after being traded to the club the previous summer. Justin Turner and Kenley Jansen re-ink for nice pay days in the 2016-2017 off-season. But no outside hires at a premium rate.
The mantra plainly hasn’t been to spend big… Heyman expands on that.
The only guys they’ve offered $100 million to are Grienke…I think they probably made big offers to Bellinger and Seager, but not free agents — they just haven’t done that. But in this case they may make an exception.
People in LA are not happy with the fact that they have not won a World Series since 1988 — went out very sadly this year, it very disappointing for people in Los Angeles.
Heyman here seems to be inferring that the LA front office may adjust their philosophy almost more out of guilt by the fans than the desire to get better for the sake of getting better. Not that fans would oppose. On the heels of the above mentioned concept of “panic moves” from last off-season, a first-round exodus certainly would turn up the heat under Friedman and company.
And Gerrit Cole has some serious heat.
Gerrit Cole, Filthy 99mph Two Seamer (With Tail). ? pic.twitter.com/pLf7SN1lop
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) October 15, 2019
While Dodger pundits will point to young arms in Dustin May, Julio Urias, and even Tony Gonsolin potentially stepping into the rotation in 2020, the uncertainty of young arms may cause more unrest amongst the fan base.
Gerrit Cole is about to get paid, and the consensus hope is that the money comes from Los Angeles.