Rich Eisen: “Why NOW, Jeff? Last year’s free agency went nearly damn well into Valentine’s Day.”
Jeff Passan: “Gerrit Cole, I’m sorry, is BETTER than just about anyone who has been a free agent over the last half-decade. I have been calling him the best free agent pitcher in baseball history and people are pushing back on that saying Randy Johnson and Greg Maddux were free agents. And those are reasonable and fair arguments – but what Cole has on his side is age, 29, and better stuff than those guys did. Randy Johnson had a great fastball and a great slider, but Cole has four 'plus' to 'plus-plus' pitches. He’s got the leadership element, he’s got the intelligence, he’s got everything humanly possible going for him, and is coming off an incredible year. It’s why the Yankees and Dodgers, probably the two most well-run organizations in baseball, were fighting one another for him.” (Full Video Above)
Cole signed the biggest contract ever given to a starting pitcher coming off a season in which he went 20-5 with an AL-best 2.50 ERA and an MLB-best 326 strikeouts in only 212.1 innings.
Check out the video above as Passan details why Cole outranks past notable free agents like Randy Johnson and Greg Maddux.