SAN DIEGO - Thanks to a record seven-year $245 million deal, pitcher Stephen Strasburg is staying with the Nationals.
Strasburg, 31, who opted out of the four years left on his $100 million contract, will spend his career with the Nationals. He’s on a path to make the Hall of Fame, but the question is how long will his record contract be a record?
Apparently not long.
Various media reports, including ESPN, MLB Network and MLB.com, say that teams will start making their offers to Gerrit Cole, 29, this week and that he could be signed to a new team before the meetings conclude Thursday.
And reports say that Cole is likely to be in the range of $280 million. Before Strasburg, Boston’s David Price had the held the contract record for a pitcher, $217 million.
The Yankees appear to be the favorite, but the Angels, Dodgers and possibly the Giants are getting ready to make offers for Cole.
The Yankees need to make stabilize their rotation to go deep into the postseason. The top of their rotation has Luis Severino and James Paxton. J.A. Happ has been a bust.
Domingo Germán is under investigation for alleged domestic abuse and Masahiro Tanka had elbow surgery to remove a bone spur last season, but is expected to be ready for spring training.
The Dodgers, who are also negotiating with free agent third baseman Anthony Rendon, are dealing with a fading ace in lefty Clayton Kershaw and the departure of free agent Hyun-Jin Ryu. In addition to Kershaw, the rotation has Kenta Maeda and 23-year-old left-hander Julio Urías.
After last season, when they had only one starter, Trevor Cahill, pitch more than 100 innings, the Angels are in need of big-time rotation help.
Cahill and Matt Harvey were signed last offseason, but neither worked out. The Angels also have Andrew Heaney and Tyler Skaggs and prospect Griffin Canning.
The Angels have acquired starter Dylan Bundy from the Orioles.
Only a handful of pitchers - Justin Verlander, Zach Greinke, Price, Kershaw and Max Scherzer - have had contracts that average $30 million a year.
Strasburg is the new member of that club, and Cole could be joining the party soon.