The New York Yankees are on the brink of acquiring all-star 27-year-old Gerrit Cole. However, the Los Angeles Dodgers are the better fit for Cole and the Pirates.
The New York Yankees have been busy this offseason, the Los Angeles Dodgers have not. New York acquired NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton from the Miami Marlins for virtually nothing. Los Angeles has brought in two names; Matt Kemp and Tom Koehler. One hit 59 home runs last season, the other two posted negative WARs.
Sure, Stanton is also owed a lot more money than both Kemp and Koehler, but the two front offices have been vastly different. Perhaps this is what has gotten the Yankees 27 rings. Like it or not, the Yankees have won five World Series since the Dodgers last. Maybe it is time for the Dodgers to go big or go home.
The perfect option to do that with is 27-year-old, Pittsburgh Pirates all-star pitcher Gerrit Cole.
The New York Yankees reportedly are very close to a deal with the Pirates to obtain Cole. According to Jeff Passan, this deal is a matter of if, not when. The only thing the Yankees lack is starting pitching. With Cole, as much as this may upset Dodger fans (including myself) the Yankees may have a better shot at the World Series.
However, although the Yankees are the most likely destination does not mean that Cole will land there. Go back a month and the Los Angeles Dodgers were the most likely destination for Stanton. What happened? The Yankees swooped in as soon as they learned they were a fit for Stanton.
It is time that the Dodgers realize that they are a fit for Gerrit Cole.
Los Angeles needs to bring in a right-handed starting pitcher to pitch behind Clayton Kershaw. Youth is preferred, of course, and the Dodgers are not trying to break the bank while maintaining control.
Cole is only 27 years old, so he definitely checks the young box. He is not expensive, either. Cole is eligible for arbitration for two more seasons. He is local (went to UCLA) and when healthy has electric stuff.
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In pitcher-friendly Dodger Stadium, behind Kershaw and under Rick Honeycutt’s system, Cole can return to his sub 3.00 ERA days. Not only are the Dodgers getting an upgrade, Cole is going to pitch much better in the moist air of Chavez Ravine rather than the small ballpark in the Big Apple.
Plus the Dodgers can virtually outmatch everything the Yankees can provide. Sure, the Yankees have Gleybor Torres, but he is virtually untouchable. Outfielder Clint Frazier has become a trade target after the Yankees acquired Stanton. The Dodgers can counter any Frazier discussions with Alex Verdugo.
After Torres, the Yankees have four prospects in the top 100 (according to MLB Pipeline). The Dodgers also have five total prospects in the top 100 with one x-factor: Yadier Alvarez. The 21-year-old ranks higher than any other Yankee prospect (aside from Torres) with passive upside. Although Verdugo and Alvarez would be a lot for Cole, the Dodgers can do that without too big of a hit.
Is that a smart move? Not necessarily. However, those two guys practically counter everything the Yankees can offer. Will the Dodgers act on this? No. Should they? Absolutely.
If they don’t then it will just add to a disappointing offseason that hasn’t exactly made sense. Los Angeles has been making all of the setup moves but is yet to deliver that checkmate to the rest of the league.