- Stephen Strasburg signed a record-setting, seven-year, $US245 million contract with the Washington Nationals.
- MLB insiders are speculating that free agent starter Gerrit Cole could now top that deal, possibly signing for over $US300 million.
- Cole has an offer for $US245 million from the New York Yankees, according to one report, but teams may now have to top Strasburg’s deal to land Cole after a historic season.
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Stephen Strasburg on Monday signed a record-setting deal, and it could be good news for fellow free-agent ace Gerrit Cole.
According to multiple reports, Strasburg signed a seven-year, $US245 million contract with the Washington Nationals. The $US35 million annual average is the most all-time for a pitcher.
Strasburg may not hold the record for long. Cole, a starting right-hander for the Houston Astros the last two seasons, is still on the market and likely to command an even bigger deal.
Prior to news of Strasburg’s deal, Bob Kalpisch of The New York Times reported that Cole, the 2019 American League Cy Young runner-up, had a seven-year, $US245 million offer on the table from the New York Yankees.
After news of Strasburg’s deal came out, MLB insiders speculated that Cole could blow past Strasburg’s money.
Stephen Strasburg’s deal with the Nationals is absolutely massive. It sets a new record for average annual value at $35 million a year. While there are deferrals, per source, the $245 million number could have a profound effect on the Gerrit Cole market. Is it $300M or bust now?
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 9, 2019
Stephen Strasburg’s seven-year, $245M deal with the #Nationals will give him highest average annual value for a pitcher in major-league history – at least temporarily. Gerrit Cole likely to get even more than $35M per, and for more than seven years. First with terms: @JeffPassan.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 9, 2019
At 29, Cole is hitting free agency at the right time. He is younger than pitchers like David Price, Max Scherzer, and Zack Greinke were when they signed huge free-agent deals.
In 2019, Cole posted a league-best 2.60 ERA and 326 strikeouts. At one point, Cole went 19 straight starts without a loss, going 19-0 from May 22 to Game 1 of the World Series.
Only four active players have a deal that eclipsed the $US300 million mark – Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Giancarlo Stanton, and Manny Machado. Strasburg’s new deal puts him seventh in total value. It looks like Cole could join the upper echelons.
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