With the MLB’s winter meetings heating up and Stephen Stratsburg announcing his stay in Washington at $245 million over the next seven years, the free agency options for the Yankees’ and Mets’ starting pitching staff become more and more clear.
Ideally, Gerrit Cole should head to the Bronx, while in Queens, the Mets ought to zero in on Dallas Keuchel.
For the Yankees, Cole is the clear choice on how to get over the hump of the Houston Astros come October. They would also extract a little revenge for 2017’s sign-gate by swiping away the ace from Texas, making a league rival weaker.
Cole could be the missing piece to the Yankees near misses at a World Series title. Each post season the Yankees run into a similar pitching conundrum that leaves fans contemplating which games will be blown by the bullpen after a starter only goes four innings, usually due to a lack of rest.
Adding Cole, who is proven reliable to go deep into games could essentially be the difference between winning and losing a playoff series in six games for the Yankees. General Manager Brian Cashman has heard plenty from Yankee fans about the necessity of signing him, and he might be wise to listen to them.
Meanwhile across the river, the strategy behind adding Keuchel to the Mets’ starting staff is similar to that of the Yankees acquiring Cole — taking from the heart of their divisional rival Atlanta Braves bullpen is always the way to go.
While the Mets are in different financial and strategical shape from the Yankees, bringing in a big name would be a strong indicator for what is to come with an anticipated change of ownership. Signing Keuchel could lay the groundwork that Flushing is no longer a place for mismanagement and half-hearted free agency signings.
Keuchel is two years removed from helping the Astros win the 2017 World Series alongside Carlos Beltran, the Mets’ new manager. The two will likely have chemistry and experience that will help produce a winning Mets culture in 2020.