Houston Astros: The amount of money Gerrit Cole could get in free agency

Houston Astros pitcher Gerrit Cole (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
Houston Astros pitcher Gerrit Cole (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /

Houston Astros pitcher Gerrit Cole is going to the hottest commodity this Winter and he’s going to expensive to re-sign. How much could be forked over?

The Houston Astros are likely still reeling over the stinging loss of Game 7 of the World Series last week but although the loss hurts, it’s time to move forward in ensuring this team is ready to compete in 2020.

With as talented as this roster is and with most of the core such as Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, George Springer, Carlos Correa, Michael Brantley and Justin Verlander under contract, I’m positive the team is expected to be a favorite to get the Fall Classic next season as well.

There will be some tough decisions that will have to be made, especially with Josh Reddick, whose contract will be expiring after last season.  Robinson Chirinos signed a one-year deal and even though he performed admirably this postseason, it’s tough to tell on if the Houston Astros want to bring him back.

Yordan Alvarez and Kyle Tucker will be mainstays on this roster for quite some time as they blossom to develop into dominant professional baseball players.  They had their first taste of playing America’s pastime in late October and I’m sure they’re going to do everything they can to ensure that their value remains high and that they’re making notable contributions to the team’s success.

But the biggest question mark is Houston Astros starting pitcher Gerrit Cole, who will be the hottest commodity on the market this Winter.  Cole wrote what felt like a goodbye letter to the team via his Twitter account but Houston Astros‘ owner Jim Crane has publicly said that the franchise will make a run to re-sign him.

So how much could this guy command in salary?

MLB Trade Rumors estimates that he could fetch a deal that’s worth up to $258 million for eight years total.  This would be a record contract for a pitcher, greater than the deal seven-year, $217M deal that David Price signed with the Boston Red Sox back in 2016.

Although there’s no salary cap, there’s a luxury tax that triggers when the spending for any given season exceeds $208 million.  The Houston Astros are already skirting the bottom of that threshold with $205.9 million already committed for salaries in 2020.

Signing Cole to that type of deal would certainly put them over the line and the team would likely not to want to put themselves in that situation.

MLBTR thinks that the penalty that the Houston Astros would take for signing Cole to a deal worth $32.3M per for the next eight seasons would be around $10.4M for 2020.

I would like to see Cole back but handcuffing that much money to a pitcher is a risky move and I’m positive every risk analytics software model that the franchise is running is telling them not to back up the Brinks’ truck at Cole’s house.  Pitcher’s arms can go out at any given moment and the Houston Astros could be left holding the bag.

They’d be better off raking over that cash to a positional player, like Springer, who’s big payday will

More from House of Houston

be coming up soon.

There are still some trades that could be made and they can always use free agency to replace his spot for a lesser expense but you likely won’t be getting the same quality as Cole had provided.

Ultimately, the ball is Cole’s court and I’m sure he wants to maximize his earnings as players are already close to or in their 30s by the time they hit free agency for the first time.  They may have one shot, maybe twice, to land a big payday and I don’t blame Cole for doing so.

The AL Cy Young Award Finalist likely will be heading to greener pastures — at least for his wallet’s sake — and there’s likely nothing the Houston Astros can do about it.

But you never know — Crane might give the go-ahead to just sign the blank check for what he wants but highly unlikely.

dark. Next. Astros' front office made a critical mistake that cost them the WS

We’ll have to see how this develops and hope for the best.

Go Houston Astros!

Cole, 29, posted a 20-5 record, along with a 2.50 ERA, while tossing 326 strikeouts to 59 earned runs in 212.1 innings pitched during the 2019 season.  His 2.64 FIP and 0.90 WHIP are career-highs.  He also had a 0.90 ERA while tossing 47 strikeouts to seven earned runs in the postseason through 36.2 innings pitched.