The Future of Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg Following the 2019 World Series
The Astros were a game away from winning their second World Series in three years, which comes after winning a Major-League-high 107 regular-season games. A.J. Hinch isn’t going to lose his job during the offseason, but you can bet your bottom dollar he is going to be second-guessed over and over again.
After the Nationals came storming back and celebrated a World Series title in front of the Houston crowd at Minute Maid Park, the Astros skipper was already facing the music. When asked why he opted for Will Harris in favor of Gerrit Cole when Zack Greinke was relieved in the 7th inning, Hinch didn’t mince any words.
Not only did this decision perhaps cost the Astros a shot at winning the World Series, but it likely solidifies yesterday as being the final chapter in the Gerrit Cole era in Houston.
Los Angeles Angels – Start Bracing for Gerrit Cole
Just 29 years old and coming off what potentially could be a Cy Young award-winning campaign, Gerrit Cole will demand top dollar this winter. Armed with super-agent Scott Boras, it’s likely we’ll see Cole set a new precedent for how much an ace is really worth.
Born and raised in the Orange County area just a stone’s throw away from where the Angels play, it almost makes too much sense for Cole to come home and sign a long-term deal. The Angels hired Joe Maddon on October 16th, and inking Cole is exactly the type of splash this organization needs to make next.
Owner Arte Moreno knows he needs to reach deep into his pockets if he wants to contend in the American League, and GM Billy Eppler is fully aware that acquiring a top-notch pitcher is item #1 on the agenda.
When you throw in Gerrit’s actions immediately following the Game 7 loss, it appears that the writing is already on the wall. Wearing a cap that sported Scott Boras’ logo, it was apparent that the right-handed hurler was already focusing on his next step.
With references like “it was a pleasure to play in the city of Houston” and “I’m going to have some friends from this clubhouse for the rest of my life,” it’s safe to say that luring Cole back to Houston is a fairly unlikely scenario.
Fans in the Anaheim area have yet to witness their team win a single postseason game since Mike Trout joined the team in 2011. However, if and when Gerrit comes on board, things in the AL West will suddenly become a whole lot more interesting.
What’s Next for World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg?
After a scintillating run through October in which Stephen Strasburg became the first pitcher to ever go 5-0 during a single postseason, the 31-year-old has some choices to make. Due to make $100 million over the next four years, Stephen has the ability to opt out of his contract and enter free agency if he feels like testing the market.
Obviously, the Nationals want to secure the former #1 overall pick out of San Diego State University, but there’s only so much money to go around.
Anthony Rendon is up for a massive payday upwards of $225 million. Max Scherzer is on the books for nearly $29 million in 2020, and Patrick Corbin is locked in at $125 million over the next five years, so Mike Rizzo may have a dilemma on his hands.
With that being said, my hunch is that Strasburg will stay put. From my experiences with Stephen during our time together playing sports at SDSU (I played golf there from 2005-2010), I know how loyal and genuine of a human being this dude is.
Sure, the money will be tempting, but so is the chance to play your entire career with the same franchise who will now be indebted to you for the rest of your life.