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Gerrit Cole Newsbeat

Saturday, November 16, 2019

A position-by-position look at the free agent market

Patrick Corbin was an exception last offseason.

Amid a slow free agent market — some stars didn’t sign until after the start of spring training — Corbin’s search for a new home was over in December when he received a $140 million, six-year contract from Washington.

That worked out pretty well for both team and player. Corbin was a key part of the Nationals’ starting rotation this year, and he threw three scoreless innings in relief in Game 7 of the World Series, helping the team win its first World Series title.

Now, another offseason is in full swing. It’s hard to say whether teams will be more aggressive in pursuing free agents, hoping to land the next Corbin, but the Atlanta Braves already made a significant move, signing reliever Will Smith away from San Francisco.

A consideration of the free-agent market of the moment.


Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Yankees plan to have talks with Cole, Strasburg

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — After falling short of reaching the World Series for the 10th straight year, the New York Yankees intend to have conversations with top free agent pitchers Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg.

“It’s a good time to be them,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Monday as the general managers meeting began. “Certainly we’ll have conversations from our perspective. And they’ll either lead to further ones or lesser ones.”

During a moonlit availability in a courtyard surrounded by palm trees, Cashman confirmed changes in the team’s staff, led by Matt Blake replacing Larry Rothschild as pitching coach. He said New York has had conversations with the agents for several of its players who became free agents, including outfielder Brett Gardner, shortstop Didi Gregorius and reliever Dellin Betances.

Starting pitching is the Yankees’ biggest need following their loss to Houston in a six-game AL Championship Series. Manager Aaron Boone’s rotation could use a premier arm to join a group that includes Luis Severino, James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka and J.A. Happ.

Not to sign either of them- they wish to talk to them about a horse…..

 

QLE Posted: November 12, 2019 at 12:47 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: gerrit cole, stephen strasburg, yankees

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Get ready for another cold offseason

It’s pretty early in the offseason. Teams can’t even sign free agents yet. But they are signaling to the public that, haha, no way do they plan to spend much money this winter.

First the Cardinals who, based on their far-from-impressive NLCS showing strike pretty much everyone as a club that, while good, needs to make some additions to take things to the next level. Will they be spending? From the Athletic:

The Cardinals have practically no financial flexibility, if history is a guide . . . The only way the Cardinals take on significant salary is to trade a major league player or two — and most of their highest-paid players are virtually unmovable — or convince the owners to spend well beyond what they have spent before . . . Does that seem in character for this team? I’ll answer that. No, it does not.

The team’s owner, Bill DeWitt Jr., was asked about that, couched in a question or two about the team’s real estate development, Ballpark Village, next to Busch Stadium. As we have chronicled in the past, teams are increasingly getting into the real estate business and such developments can be pretty massive cash cows for them. The question, though, is whether the real estate money is going to be used to subsidize spending on the baseball team or, rather, if the baseball team is primarily a promotional tool — maybe even a loss leader — for the real estate development.

Something to post now, then check back on in a few months’ time to see how accurate it was.

QLE Posted: November 06, 2019 at 12:51 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, dodgers, gerrit cole, hot stove, real estate

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

10 players receive qualifying offers

Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that 10 players have received qualifying offers worth $17.8 million each: Josh Donaldson, Stephen Strasburg, Anthony Rendon, Gerrit Cole, José Abreu, Jake Odorizzi, Madison Bumgarner, Zack Wheeler, Will Smith, and Marcell Ozuna.

The players have 10 days to accept or reject the qualifying offer. Accepting means they are back under contract with the offering team for the 2020 season; rejecting means they become a free agent with draft pick compensation attached to them.

We have talked in the past about how the QO system has hampered free agency. Teams that sign a player who rejected a QO must forfeit at least one draft pick. Teams losing a player who rejected their QO receive at least one draft pick as compensation, though it’s not a direct transfer from the signing team to the previous team. The compensation varies based on the team’s payroll and whether or not it receives revenue sharing.

So, who among these do you suppose will accept the qualifying offer?

 


Friday, November 01, 2019

Cole, Rendon among 131 free agents on market

NEW YORK (AP) — Washington third baseman Anthony Rendon became a free agent Thursday, a day after homering to spark Washington’s seventh-inning comeback in Game 7 of the World Series.

Houston pitcher Gerrit Cole also went free after warming up in the bullpen but never getting into the season finale.

And Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg, the World Series MVP, could be joining them in the next few days. He has the right to opt out of his contract, which has $100 million over four years remaining.

Baseball’s business season starts shortly after the final out.

For those wanting something to follow this off-season.

 

QLE Posted: November 01, 2019 at 01:09 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: anthony rendon, free agents, gerrit cole, hot stove

Gerrit Cole wears Boras Corp. hat after Astros’ World Series loss, tweets message to Houston fans

The Houston Astros 2019 season had not been over for long when impending free agent Gerrit Cole started removing himself from any future Houston narrative. The Astros, baseball’s best team during the regular season, came up short in their quest for a second World Series title in three seasons as they lost Game 7 of the Fall Classic to the Nationals on Wednesday night.

Cole, who did not appear in Game 7, watched the Nats celebrate their franchise’s first ever World Series win on Houston’s turf and then had to speak to the media. His postgame outfit did not include any Astros gear. Instead, the flame-throwing righty (who is represented by agent Scott Boras) donned a hat with a logo of Boras Corp.

...

The accessory said a lot.

...

Given Houston’s already high payroll, it always seemed unlikely Cole would return to the Astros once he hit free agency. That seemed more evident by his post-Game 7 fashion statement, and by a written statement he tweeted out Thursday. Cole sent a message, thanking Astros fans and the organization.

Wait- when did Scott Boras start distributing hats?

 

QLE Posted: November 01, 2019 at 12:36 AM | 81 comment(s)
  Beats: gerrit cole, hats, scott boras

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

MLB bans two women after they flashed Gerrit Cole at World Series

Major League Baseball has banned two women from games indefinitely after they flashed Houston Astros pitcher Gerrit Cole during Game 5 of the World Series. Julia Rose and Lauren Summer performed the act during the seventh inning of the contest. It was captured on camera.

MLB must have quickly reviewed that footage, because Summer received a letter from the league Sunday night. USA Today was able to confirm MLB sent the letter.

Rose and Summer were banned for “violating the fan code,” according to the note.

The two women claim they flashed Cole “for breast cancer.” They also did it in order to promote their business, a digital magazine called Shagmag.

QLE Posted: October 29, 2019 at 12:02 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: banishment, cancer, fans, gerrit cole

Friday, October 25, 2019

If World Series is the goal, Yankees need to get Cole-blooded and get some pitching

NEW YORK — It has become an annual event, this news conference held during an off-day while two other teams play in the World Series, at which the New York Yankees try to explain why things didn’t quite work out for them this year but will surely be better next year. Instead of a championship ticker-tape parade down the Canyon of Heroes, the Yankees offer you a parade of excuses in the bowels of a deserted Yankee Stadium.

“One hit this way, one bounce that way and maybe it’s a different conversation,’’ said manager Aaron Boone, speaking the language of losers throughout history.

“This is a championship-caliber team,’’ GM Brian Cashman said. “Just because we lost doesn’t diminish the fact that this was a championship-caliber roster that was capable of winning the whole thing.’’

And yet, the fact remains that for the 10th consecutive October, the World Series transpires without the Yankees, a drought that would seem like an eyeblink to most teams — it’s 33 years between flag-raisings for the Mets, for instance — but in the annals of a team that bills itself with some justification as The Greatest Franchise in the History of Sports, this would have been a source of shame in a previous era.

Mind you, it’s not like firing everyone every time things went wrong worked for those teams either, given the rather telling aspect involving how the two Yankees dynasties built during George Steinbrenner’s ownership were actually built…..

 

QLE Posted: October 25, 2019 at 12:26 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: entitled fans, gerrit cole, pitching, world series, yankees

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Juan Soto blasts historic home run - just as his hitting coach guaranteed

Juan Soto was the best teenage hitter in Major League Baseball history, and he might be the best 20-year old hitter in MLB history, too.

His exploits at the plate over the past two seasons have ranged from impressive to historic, and everything in between.

He grew his legend even more Tuesday evening, launching a jaw-dropping home run to the train tracks in Houston.

This is a flat-out bomb. Left-handed hitters just don’t hit home runs to this part of Minute Maid Park.

 

QLE Posted: October 23, 2019 at 12:39 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: gerrit cole, home runs, juan soto, kevin long, predictions, world series

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Capital hill: Astros, Nats put World Series eyes on pitching

Gerrit Cole, Max Scherzer and a slew of aces get the World Series started in Houston, then the scene shifts to Capitol Hill.

But with Justin Verlander, Stephen Strasburg and all these electric arms, might as well call it capital hill.

Because in this Year of the Home Run, the focus of the 2019 Fall Classic is on the mound.

A throw-down for the ages, maybe. With a neat twist, too: The Astros and Washington Nationals share a spring training complex — they met in the exhibition opener, and Scherzer gave up a homer to the first batter of the game.

A consideration of the World Series to come, and an item that could end up being very important about it.


Thursday, October 17, 2019

Gerrit Cole shuts down the mighty Yankees, and is about to become a very rich man

NEW YORK — The short porch in right field at Yankee Stadium has gotten the best of several pitchers over the years.

Yet Houston Astros righty Gerrit Cole — arguably the greatest pitcher on the planet these days — was able to withstand the dreaded 314 sign and the mighty Bronx Bombers on Tuesday night.

He didn’t have his best stuff by any means. But that’s what makes him the best in the business. He can keep putting up zeroes on the scoreboard without it.

“He wasn’t as electric or as sharp as usual,” a scout in attendance told Yahoo Sports. “But he was still able to win. And that’s what makes him great.”

All day long, will he biddy-biddy-bum?

 

QLE Posted: October 17, 2019 at 12:13 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: gerrit cole, money, playoffs

Thursday, October 03, 2019

Astros’ owner says Houston might ‘make a run at’ re-signing Gerrit Cole, but there’s a catch

The Houston Astros won’t know who they’re playing in the American League Divisional Series until after Wednesday night’s AL Wild Card Game between the Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland Athletics. Still, that didn’t stop Astros owner Jim Crane from looking into the future—as in, to the winter—on Monday by addressing right-handed starter Gerrit Cole’s impending free agency.

Crane even went so far as to concede the Astros might “make a run” at retaining Cole. Here’s more, courtesy of Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle:

“We’ll see where we end up after the year. We may make a run at it. We’re not sure yet,” Crane said. “We’re going to wait and see what else unfolds and who else is going to stay on the team.

Now, before Astros fans rush out to buy Cole shirseys, it’s worth noting that Crane’s proclamation came with a caveat: that he’d prefer to remain under the luxury tax threshold—or, to be straightforward, he’d prefer to avoid paying overage penalties.

Another entry to add to this pile- I hope you don’t mind work stoppages, because I have a bad feeling that’s what’s coming when the CBA is up next….

 

QLE Posted: October 03, 2019 at 12:06 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: cheap owners, gerrit cole, luxury tax

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

LEADING OFF: Yost begins final homestand with Royals

FINAL DAYS

The Kansas City Royals host the Atlanta Braves in their first game since manager Ned Yost announced Monday he plans to retire at the end of the season. The 65-year-old Yost, who has been on a year-to-year contract, is the only manager to lead the Royals to back-to-back World Series, losing to the Giants in seven games in 2014 and beating the Mets in five the following year. Kansas City plays two games against Atlanta before finishing the season with a weekend series at home against Minnesota.

FINAL DAYS II

The Texas Rangers begin their last homestand at their 25-year-old stadium, first known as The Ballpark in Arlington. The Rangers are moving across the street into a $1 billion-plus air-conditioned stadium with a retractable roof. After Boston comes to town for a three-game series, Texas finishes the season with three games against the AL East champion New York Yankees. Edinson Vólquez and Ariel Jurado are expected to pitch Tuesday night against Boston, and Eduardo Rodríguez goes for his 19th win for the Red Sox.

 

QLE Posted: September 24, 2019 at 12:43 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: ballparks, gerrit cole, kris bryant, ned yost, rangers

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Cole reaches 300-strikeout milestone

HOUSTON—An amazing season by right-hander Gerrit Cole has been punctuated by something no other Astros pitcher has done in more than 30 years.

By striking out Shin-Soo Choo in the sixth inning Wednesday night against the Rangers, Cole became the first pitcher in the Major Leagues this season, and the first Astros pitcher since Mike Scott in 1986, to strike out 300 batters in a season. Scott, who struck out 306 in his National League Cy Young season, and J.R. Richard (1978-79) are the only Astros pitchers to reach 300 in a season.

Cole is the 18th pitcher in the modern era (since 1900) to strike out 300 in a season, and there have been 37 individual 300-K seasons in that span. Randy Johnson and Nolan Ryan each totaled six 300-strikeout seasons during their Hall of Fame careers, which is tied for the most.

A sign of how much pitcher use has changed- only the fourth such time (by the fourth different pitcher) that this milestone has been reached since 2003, in spite of the explosion of strikeouts since then.

 

QLE Posted: September 19, 2019 at 12:30 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: gerrit cole, strikeouts

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Here are baseball’s top 20 free agents to be

If it feels like last year’s free agency just ended, that’s because it did. The “winter” technically stretched into early June, when Dallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel finally signed with the Braves and Cubs, respectively.

But it won’t be very long until we fire up free agency yet again, and, despite some rumors to the contrary, there’s a ton of talent on the table after the 2019 World Series wraps.

Here, we’ll take a look at some early free-agent power rankings (20 players for 2020). But like so much of life, it gets complicated. The market will be drastically affected by what happens with various opt-outs and option clauses. For this list, we’re going to leave off guys whose options are likely to be exercised or whose opt-outs aren’t. This currently applies to Kenley Jansen, David Price, Corey Kluber, Anthony Rizzo, Starling Marte, Nelson Cruz, José Quintana, Yu Darvish and Elvis Andrus, among others. But as always, stay tuned!

We will, however, include a few others who aren’t necessarily as likely to remain attached to their current contracts, and have noted those with an asterisk (*). All ages as of Opening Day 2020.

So, what thoughts do we have concerning this list?

 


Friday, September 13, 2019

In era of analytics, Astros aces Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole are keeping it old-school

And in this age of analytics, Verlander insists, it’s time to quantify the amount of innings a starter provides. He has pitched at least 200 innings in all but one season since his rookie year, leading the major leagues three times and once again this season.

“You can’t put a number on it because people can’t quantify how valuable it is,’’ Verlander says. “But the second they can put a number on an inning, and how valuable it is, it would be dramatic. Just saving the bullpen, the impact those extra innings have, and what that means, I don’t think anybody has ever tried to tackle that, I think it’s valuable. Extremely valuable.’’...

This is why it’s mind-boggling that in this era, it’s not so much the strikeouts Cole and Verlander are compiling, but the fact that fewer than one baserunner an inning is reaching base. While Cole values his quality starts and innings the most, Verlander’s favorite stat is WHIP.

“Gerrit and I have talked about this a lot,’’ Verlander said. “I think WAR is a pretty fickle number for starting pitchers, but the WHIP, that’s our job, to limit baserunners. The batting average against is a nice stat, but if you’re walking three or four batters per nine innings, the way batters now count a hit as good as a walk for OPS, those walks might as well be hits.

“Call me old-fashioned, but I still like ERA, too.’’

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 13, 2019 at 08:26 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: gerrit cole, justin verlander

Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole put on the greatest pitching show in baseball

“What they are doing is amazing, probably the best duo in baseball history,” Astros All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve said.


Koufax/Drysdale
Spahn/Sain
Mathewson/McGinnity
Johnson/Schilling

Others in the conversation?  Altuve just might be correct.

And how does Verlander’s loss yesterday impact the CY race?

Lest we forget Posted: September 13, 2019 at 03:35 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, gerrit cole, great baseball players, verlander

Sunday, September 08, 2019

LEADING OFF: Braves streaking, Harper hurting, Arizona rolls

HOME OF THE BRAVES

Josh Donaldson and the Atlanta Braves have won nine in a row, their best string since 2014. The NL East leaders also have taken 13 straight at SunTrust Park.

Donaldson hit his 36th home run in a 5-4 win over Washington on Saturday night. He has 28 homers since June 11. The Nationals have lost four in a row and lead the NL wild-card race by two games over the Cubs.

Nationals ace Max Scherzer (9-5, 2.60 ERA) tries to end Atlanta’s streaks. He makes his fourth straight start since returning from back trouble — the three-time Cy Young Award winner has no decisions and a 4.66 ERA in his last four outings.

Well, here’s as good a place as any to discuss the current shape of the playoff hunt- how do we expect it will shake out?

QLE Posted: September 08, 2019 at 12:32 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, bryce harper, diamondbacks, gerrit cole, rays, streaks, yadier molina

Thursday, September 05, 2019

Awards Watch: Will Justin Verlander’s Teammate Snatch His Cy Young Award?

There’s just one month left in the 2019 regular season, but the AL awards races may already be decided. For that, you can blame the two Hall of Famers having career-best seasons, plus a crop of rookie players that, for the most part, hasn’t delivered as expected. Still, there could be some drama late, particularly in the Cy Young race, where a pair of teammates may be headed for a photo finish, as well as two super-prospects poised to slug it out for ROY honors. Here’s how everyone stands with August over and September underway (and here’s how the award races looked back in August).

...

Verlander’s no-hitter against the Blue Jays on Sunday may have sewn up his second Cy Young award and first since 2011; since that season, he’s finished second in the voting three times, including last year. Then again, this final month could prove crucial, given the hard charge of the man right behind him in both this list and in his own rotation.

...

Pick your flavor of strikeout stat, and Cole is at (or near) the top. Not only does he lead the majors in total strikeouts (narrowly edging out Verlander), but he’s also No. 1 among starters in strikeout-per-nine rate (13.6), strikeout percentage (38.7), and strikeout-minus-walk percentage (32.4). He’s also second in swinging-strike rate, just behind Max Scherzer, and in average fastball velocity among starters at 97.1 mph, trailing only Noah Syndergaard. Cole would need a big September to overtake Verlander, but given that he’s put up a 1.98 ERA since the beginning of June, it’s not out of the question.

I assume the Cy Young Award was stolen because they couldn’t find the fine china?

 

QLE Posted: September 05, 2019 at 03:51 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, gerrit cole, justin verlander

Monday, September 02, 2019

LEADING OFF: Cole follows Verlander’s gem, Darvish scratched

TOUGH ACT TO FOLLOW

One day after Houston teammate Justin Verlander pitched a no-hitter, Gerrit Cole looks to stay on a roll of his own when the Astros visit Milwaukee on Labor Day. Cole (15-5, 2.85 ERA) is 11-0 with a 2.06 ERA in his last 16 starts and needs six strikeouts to regain the major league lead from Verlander, who whiffed 14 batters Sunday during his third career no-hitter — second in Toronto.

With four weeks to go, Verlander and Cole appear to be running 1-2 in the AL Cy Young Award race.

At least it isn’t an animal act that he has to follow.

QLE Posted: September 02, 2019 at 04:33 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dustin may, gerrit cole, keston hiura, mark trumbo, yu darvish

Thursday, August 22, 2019

LEADING OFF: Mad Max and Gerrit Cole return, Fenway freebie

WELCOME BACK, MAD MAX

Nationals ace Max Scherzer comes off the injured list to start at last-place Pittsburgh. The three-time Cy Young Award winner is 9-5 with a 2.41 ERA in 20 starts but has pitched only once over the past six weeks because of a strained muscle in his back. His 12.7 strikeouts per nine innings lead the NL. Washington holds the league’s top wild-card spot.

FENWAY FREEBIE

The Boston Red Sox are offering free admission to fans under the age of 18 for the 1:05 p.m. EDT conclusion of a game against Kansas City that was suspended on Aug. 7 because of rain. An admission fee of $5 for adults will be donated to the Jimmy Fund. Play will resume in the top of the 10th inning with the score tied 4-all and Josh Taylor working with a 2-1 count on Royals catcher Meibrys Viloria.

What, no Blue Max?

 

QLE Posted: August 22, 2019 at 06:22 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: gerrit cole, max muncy, max scherzer, orioles, suspended games

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Four Soon-to-Be MLB Free Agents Whose Stock Is Rising

The winter’s free-agency freeze induced a wave of anxiety around baseball, leading to a slew of extensions signed early in the season. Brandon Lowe agreed to a six-year deal in Tampa Bay after just 129 MLB at-bats. Eloy Jimenez signed long-term with the White Sox before he ever set foot in an MLB batter’s box. Many players seem either desperate to shed their rookie deals or terrified of entering free agency. The market’s paralysis can deter even the top talents from leaving their current teams. (See Arenado, Nolan and Trout, Michael.)

There remains a sample of quality free agents in the 2019-20 class, however, even if J.D. Martinez and Stephen Strasburg choose not to opt out of their current deals. Expect multiple nine-figure contracts, and one pitcher who could become the league’s most expensive arm. So which upcoming free agents have helped their cause as we begin to consider the next class?

In case you want to know who won’t get signed this coming winter….

QLE Posted: August 15, 2019 at 05:13 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: anthony rendon, free agency, gerrit cole, josh donaldson, will smith

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Gerrit Cole second-fastest to 200 strikeouts in a season

Astros starter Gerrit Cole dominated the Athletics on Monday night, limiting them to one run on two hits and a walk while striking out 11. It marked his 12th start out of 22 this season with double-digit strikeouts, giving him 205 total on the season.

For those of you who want a demonstration as for what the strikeout boom has wrought….

 

QLE Posted: July 24, 2019 at 04:16 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: gerrit cole, strikeouts

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Gerrit Cole might be White Sox fans’ next free-agent crush, but will he land on the South Side?

White Sox fans’ crush on Manny Machado during the winter of 2018-19 is about to become White Sox fans’ crush on Gerrit Cole during the winter of 2019-20.

Thanks to a wave of extensions signed by some of the best players in the game, Cole, the Houston Astros pitcher who threw against the South Siders on Wednesday night in the Lone Star State, is on track to be the most sought after player on next offseason’s free-agent market.

There will be no Nolan Arenado, no Chris Sale, no Paul Goldschmidt. Whether you already thought Cole was more desirable than that trio or not, he’s the last man standing. And with other names yanked off the market — guys like Justin Verlander, Xander Bogaerts, Aaron Hicks and Miles Mikolas — what was once an absolutely stacked free-agent class is significantly less stacked.

But Cole is still out there. Will he be the White Sox No. 1 target?

In case you’re wondering what players will be unsigned into March…..

 

QLE Posted: May 23, 2019 at 10:32 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: gerrit cole, hot stove, white sox

 

 

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