Rumor: Dodgers heavily pursue Gerrit Cole
With the Dodgers clearly big-game hunting over the offseason, it came as no surprise when it was first reported they held an in-person meeting with star right-hander, Gerrit Cole, early in December. Competing with the Yankees and Angels, the Dodgers had firmly placed themselves at the negotiation table for the Astros 20-game winner.
While Los Angeles could brag about the front of their rotation that already included Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler, adding an elite playoff performer, like Cole, could put them over the top. The Dodgers can win 100 games every season, but their success is ultimately judged in the postseason. Cole has a 2.60 ERA over 10 postseason starts in his career.
After losing Hyun-Jin Ryu to the Blue Jays, the pressure to add another frontline starter only increased. A pursuit that would end empty-handed with the three-time All-Star signed a record nine-year, $324 million deal with the Yankees. The Dodgers reportedly offered eight years for $300 million, including deferrals, something the Yankees didn’t include.
Nobody other than Cole knows whether the Dodgers truly had a shot to sign him over the winter. Dodgers president, Stan Kasten, believes he was always set on going to the Yankees, regardless of the Dodgers offer.
“In retrospect, I think we were just the stalking horse to get a number he finally could get from a team he wanted to go to,” Kasten told the Los Angeles Times.
The Dodgers would end up filling out their rotation through the bargain bin by signing Alex Wood to an incentive-based, one-year deal. Their consolation prize for missing on all of the big dollar free agents becoming Mookie Betts, who brought starter David Price along with him in the trade.