Kansas City Royals: Making the case to sign Gerrit Cole in free agency

(Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /

The Kansas City Royals rotation is in shambles and new owner John Sherman will be looking to make a statement. Gerrit Cole would be the perfect signing.

One of the premier pitchers in the league, Gerrit Cole has been excellent in his 7 seasons in the majors thus far. His contract is set to expire at the end of the season, and the Kansas City Royals should be jumping at the bit to sign the 29-year old.

It’s no secret that the Royals rotation is a complete mess but it projects very well in 2021 with the anticipated callups of flourishing pitching prospects. Kris Bubic, Jackson Kowar, Brady Singer, and Daniel Lynch are all names that could be making their way to the big leagues in just a couple of years.

Combined with new ownership set to take over in November and the decline in attendance over the last four seasons, John Sherman will be looking to make an immediate impact and what better way to do that with the signing of a superstar pitcher.

The Pirates selected the UCLA product with the 28th overall pick in the 2008 MLB Draft, and he spent his first 5 major league seasons with the team. He was traded to the Houston Astros during the 2017 offseason and has been in a word, dominant.

Cole finished the 2018 season with 276 strikeouts and a 2.88 ERA. This season, he’s on pace to finish with over 300 strikeouts and sub-3.00 ERA. His market value is projected at $28.6 million AAV, but the Royals will have some salary potentially coming off the books this season in Alex Gordon.

The Royals just saw Cole on Friday night where he allowed just 1 earned run in 8.0 innings of work while striking out 11 batters. Certainly, Cole would be one in a series of moves that are needed to repair this pitching staff. Ian Kennedy‘s $16.5 million AAV salary will also be off the books after the 2020 season, so there’s definitely some financial flexibility to open up the pocketbooks in the next couple of seasons.

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We’ll see how John Sherman wants to approach his first free agency, but he may not get another shot at signing a pitcher like Gerrit Cole for quite some time.