Winter Meetings Blog (Day 2)
Updated: Dec 11, 2019
SAN DIEGO -- The annual Winter Meetings continued at the Manchester Grand Hyatt on Tuesday. My live blog continues with rumors, thoughts and other buzz of the day.
The rumors continue to swirl around the Braves, particularly on the Josh Donaldson front. With multiple clubs vying for the slugging third baseman, it seems length of contract may be the tipping point for getting the deal one. Prior to the signing of Mike Moustakas to a four-year deal with Cincinnati, I posited that two years with a vesting option might be the right length of contract for Donaldson, who just turned 34 years old.
While Anthony Rendon, 29, searches for a deal that will certainly be no less than six or seven years and eclipse $200 million, Donaldson could be an attractive option for the clubs that miss out on Rendon's services. Of course, he could sign before Rendon if the right deal materializes. Given that Scott Boras has gotten his other clients signed to big deals at the meetings this week, it's fair to assume Rendon could sign at any time.
The Braves are still rumored to be in the mix for a starting pitcher despite adding Cole Hamels on a one-year deal last week. It would make complete sense were the Braves to use one of their current starting pitchers as part of a package to acquire a middle of the order bat. Kris Bryant's name has been a popular one, but as I discussed on Monday, his service time grievance is a consideration. A team may only get one year of control if the arbiter rules in his favor. If you're wondering, Mike Soroka is the only one of Atlanta's young pitchers that qualifies as "untouchable" or anything resembling the term.
Alex Anthopoulos said Austin Riley and Johan Camargo would compete for the starting third base job if the Braves were to stick with the options currently on the 40-man. He remains a fan of both, but did it should be noted that in no way does it sound like Atlanta's search for a cleanup hitter (and quite likely a third baseman) will be ending anytime soon.
The big news of the day...
Gerrit Cole agreed to a record-shattering contract with the New York Yankees. The 9-year, $324 million deal is the largest ever signed by a pitcher. It was my prediction that the deal would get done here at the meetings, but the sheer magnitude of the signing is still incredible. Agent Scott Boras wasted little time breaking the record he set with Stephen Strasburg's agreement on Monday, a 7-year $245 million pact. The deal will pay Cole an average of $36 million per season through the age of 37. If you're scoring at home, that's over $1 million per start if Cole remains healthy throughout the life of the contract.