The pros of signing Gerrit Cole
For many reading this article, the thought of “Well, duh.” just went through their minds after reading this header. However, there are plenty of things that Cole can bring to the table or any team looking to add a bonafide ace to their pitching staff.
For starters, Cole is coming off one of the most dominant seasons in the history of the game. Cole’s overall numbers look pretty good with a 20-5 record and 2.50 ERA, but it’s the dominant stretch that he turned in from early May until the end of the year that set him apart.
Through his first 11 starts of the season, Cole was actually struggling and owned a losing record. At 4-5 with a 4.11 ERA, Cole was racking up the strikeouts (100 in 65 2/3 innings) but not seeing the results. After suffering his final loss of the season on May 22, however, Cole turned it on and showed the dominance that will help pad his bank account this winter.
Cole won his final 16 decisions after that loss to the Chicago White Sox and posted an ERA of 1.78. To make matters worse for opposing hitters, they couldn’t even get their bat on the ball as Cole posted a 35% chase rate and somehow became even stronger in the postseason thanks to an increased use in his curveball, which according to Jay Jaffe of FanGraphs, quadrupled his chase rate against lefties.
That’s what’s crazy about Cole’s impending free agency. If he wins the Cy Young Award, he will be just the fourth pitcher in MLB history to hit the market after winning the award. At 29 years old, he’s in the prime of his career compared to most pitchers being ticking time bombs by the point they hit free agency.
If the Twins are serious about landing an impact pitcher, Cole will be the way to go. However, there are a couple of small issues that might keep that from happening.