While it will be a hot topic among Red Sox circles, the Astros’ ace shouldn’t make his way to Boston.
After a disappointing season, the Boston Red Sox offseason will shape the course of the franchise for seasons to come. There’s the potential loss of Mookie Betts of J.D. Martinez coupled with the pending free agency of Brock Holt, Rick Porcello, and other mainstays. Additionally, the front office will continue their quest to find a President of Baseball Operations that aligns with their long-term goals – a task that appears easier said than done.
While there are plenty of questions surrounding the blueprint, largely due to the lack of a leader, the plan to cut salary has been detailed by ownership. Red Sox fans have become accustomed to placing their finger on the hottest pending free agent and adding them to their wish list – the 2020 target will be Gerrit Cole. It’s not without reason that Sox fans would drool over the addition of Cole, the Astros’ ace has posted gaudy numbers with a 20-5 record, a 2.50 ERA, and an outrageous 11.77 K/9.
In theory, the match makes sense. The Red Sox are in need of another high profile arm and have historically had the budget to match the high contractual demands of an ace, especially Cole that may very well collect his first AL Cy Young award in the coming weeks. While much will depend on the vision of the newly appointed GM, it doesn’t sound like the Sox are in the market to add another monstrous deal to their existing payroll.
Dave Dombrowski has saddled the Red Sox with the large contracts of David Price, Xander Bogaerts, and Chris Sale. Of course, this isn’t without rhyme or reason as the trio was all deserving of their financial situations; however the Sox have plenty of decisions to make with Mookie Betts, Martinez, and even a potential Rafael Devers extension. Simply put, a Cole signing doesn’t co-align with the explicit direction that ownership would like to see the team moving in.
Yes, the Sox have a variety of contracts coming off the books between Rick Porcello, potentially J.D. Martinez, and a hefty amount (no pun intended) of the Pablo Sandoval deal but that doesn’t render the team with financial flexibility. Spotrac projects Cole to receive a deal in the ballpark of 6 years / $180 million or a yearly average of $30.3 million. Not to mention, Cole could earn himself additional money depending on his postseason performance in the coming weeks.
Gerrit Cole will get paid handsomely for his services, and while it’s a dream for Red Sox fans, it simply will remain just that. Instead of paying for the next great ace, the club needs to shift its focus to developing and finding the next best arm. It’s time for the scouting department to produce, whether that be internally, or analytically via trade, and the Boston Red Sox will watch Cole deal elsewhere in 2020.