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Dodgers Free Agency: Gerrit Cole Linked to Los Angeles by MLB Insider

I’ve got $5 on it.

Houston Astros flame thrower Gerrit Cole is doing something that the Dodgers aren’t doing right now… he’s still playing baseball. As we sit and gear up for the off-season, the thought shifts to him potentially playing baseball for Los Angeles next season.

The 29 year-old is reportedly a fan of the west coast, and California in particular. Now, MLB Network insider Jon Heyman took to the podcast circuit this week and identified the Dodgers as a player in Cole’s impending free agent sweepstakes.

It looks to me like it could be a Yankee/Dodger battle. The Dodgers have not done this in the past, they’ve basically drafted and developed well. They’ve tried to keep their own guys.

In the Guggenheim/Colletti and later Guggenheim/Friedman eras, the Dodgers have operated almost exclusively in-house when it comes to pitching. Not that much has been spent on any other position via the free agent market.

However, last off-season marked a somewhat surprising change for this front office. They went out and spent fairly lucratively on free agents AJ Pollock and Joe Kelly. After losing back-to-back World Series, it seemed to some as almost a panic move.

While they’ve imported big money in the past — namely the Gonzalez/Punto trade of 2012 — the bigger money has usually gone to retain “their guys.” Rich Hill signed a $48M deal after being traded to the club the previous summer. Justin Turner and Kenley Jansen re-ink for nice pay days in the 2016-2017 off-season. But no outside hires at a premium rate.

The mantra plainly hasn’t been to spend big… Heyman expands on that.

The only guys they’ve offered $100 million to are Grienke…I think they probably made big offers to Bellinger and Seager, but not free agents — they just haven’t done that. But in this case they may make an exception.

People in LA are not happy with the fact that they have not won a World Series since 1988 — went out very sadly this year, it very disappointing for people in Los Angeles.

Heyman here seems to be inferring that the LA front office may adjust their philosophy almost more out of guilt by the fans than the desire to get better for the sake of getting better. Not that fans would oppose. On the heels of the above mentioned concept of “panic moves” from last off-season, a first-round exodus certainly would turn up the heat under Friedman and company.

And Gerrit Cole has some serious heat.

While Dodger pundits will point to young arms in Dustin May, Julio Urias, and even Tony Gonsolin potentially stepping into the rotation in 2020, the uncertainty of young arms may cause more unrest amongst the fan base.

Gerrit Cole is about to get paid, and the consensus hope is that the money comes from Los Angeles.

Written by Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor of Dodgers Nation, and a host and analyst on Dodgers Nation's own Blue Heaven podcast live stream.

He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future.

He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.

36 Comments

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  1. Here we go again! Cole is “linked” to just about every team. He’s goung to talk to numerous teams, the rumkr mills will spin and eventually he’ll decide based on his own criteria we know nothing about. This story is meaningless!

  2. The Dodgers are fine drawing 4 million fans and winning 100 games in a weak division. Proving a bad manager and sitting on cheap weak hitting players like kiki Pederson and Taylor will more than do the job. Pitching is poor in the late innings and new guys will be mixed in with Hill and Ryu leaving. No way the Dodgers get Cole. The FO is fine with the current huge fan draw. They will be booing a lot, I can guarantee that which will be embarrassing for Roberts Kansen Kelly and more.

      • When the new owners check over the Mystique from the Los Angeles Dodgers left completely nothing since 1988 nothing till 2058 the boneheads they have now including the triplet of Cody Bellinger gay Peterson gay Seger gay this team is going nowhere and will sign no major free agents believe me

    • He was a yankee fan too. Basically a typical SoCal bandwagon Kid. I grew up with a lot of them We’re of the same age range.

      • This article is sort of funny and I honestly believe Cole would not want to come and play for a ‘manager’ like Roberts. Besides, I am sure the Yankees will be willing to give him more $$ and a deal longer in length.

  3. The Dodgers do not “need” starting rotation help. They will probably attempt to sign Ryu as their tendency has been to resign established player. Also there is a Huge Korean Fan base in LA. The Dodgers have young arms such as Stripling, Ferguson, Urias, May and Gonsolin that will compete for the 1 or 2 spots that will open up with Hill and possibly Ryu leaving.
    Do the Dodgers decide to use Urias, Gonsolin or May as their primary Bullpen closer? They all have the arms and strikeout pitch for it.
    This team is incredibly young. They will compete for the next decade with their young roster and highly rated and talented Farm Team. They are not going to sign players to satisfy sportswriters.
    All the chatter is the usual sportswriter uninformed comments desperately attempting to make “news”. They are not going to sign Cole and I doubt if they offer Rendon a deal. When Turner leaves the plan looks to be to move Seager to 3rd and have Lux, Estevez, Downs and others compete for the infield spots. When the Dodgers have gone out to sign free agent players they make mistakes. Pollock and Kelly come to mind.

      • Remember, that pitching, such as what the Nats have wins championships. A 4 game NLCS series sweep of the Cards is proof of that. The Cardinal hitters were paying too much attention to what Dodgers did offensively by striking out a ton! Dodgers striking out 64 times in 5 games will not win championships.
        The BP such as it is or was will not win a championship.
        The current or prospective starting rotation as it is now will not win a championship.
        Right now over all, the Dodgers do NOT have a good enough roster to win a championship, period.

        • I think most everyone here was saying that just after the start of the season. Whooping the Padres does not equate to post season winning.

    • Not sure that grabbing Pollock and Kelly could be considered “panic” moves. Just more tinkering around the edges to maintain the Dodger “depth” from 1-40. The Dodgers will remain “competitive” unless the Pads manage to pry Strasburg loose from the Nats. And if Cole ends up in the West (and not in Anaheim), say the Giants throw some money around, well, we can continue our pipeline of great regular season draft choices that will get us into the dance and quickly eliminated by teams that spring for the “grownups.”

    • Urias is a piece. I hope they trade him he ain’t fooling anybody and he’s only 22. No bueno. Adios.

  4. But if the money comes from Los Angeles, he needs to perform, not like many of the bigger money free agents that have come in over the years, i.e., AJ Pollock so far, Joe Kelly, remember Kevin Brown, and so many others. (I’m sure I’m forgetting some that have performed, but it is fewer than have, or I’d remember them.)

  5. I got 5 on it that he’s not going to get a good offer from us get your 40’s let’s get keyed messin with that indo weed partner let’s go half on a sack

  6. Sign Cole and lefty reliever Will Smith and it will be a successful off season. AF will have money from Freese retiring, letting Hill and Ryu go and trying to sign Martin at a discount. Also I would trade Peterson ,Stripling, Barnes, and Kiki for a right handed bat. Maybe Texas will take Kershaw if we eat some of the salary now that they’re opening the new ball park and Kershaw is from Texas. Maybe AF can work his magic. Hopefully Kenley opts out but that’s wishful thinking.

    • Will Smith was available for the rest of the year at the trade deadline. The Dodgers stood pat with Jansen and Kelly (bad and badder) and are sitting out the fall classic at home. The FO won’t acquire either, but will find some 38+ year old post surgery pitcher, claim he’s wonderful and stand pat with Jansen and Kelly. I’d like to think the FO would do the right thing, but that’s just wishful thinking.

      You have to learn to lower your expectations to those of the owners and FO. Fans should just buy tickets and gear, and then be satisfied with a brief playoff appearance and early departure.

  7. dogers NEED COLE IN STARTING LINEUP. just using farm system is not enough,May, not that great, & the rest can not do it. IF THEY LET COLE & RENDON GET AWAY, F.O. HAS LOST THEIR MINDS, OR DO NOT WANT TO WIN A W.S.. WHAT THE FANS GO TO THE ANGELS. MUST FANS IN WORLD KEEP THEM COMIJNG.

  8. This will NEVER happen. I love the Dodgers but I really don’t think the current ownership cares about the fans (see the current TV situation). I feel that the ownership could be thinking, “fielding a competitive team with 4 or 5 rookies making less than a 1M is a gold mine” and heck with the fans. Obviously they feel that getting to playoffs the last 7 years, and the WS two years in a row, is enough to keep the almost 4 million fans coming back for more.
    It kills me to say but if Cole likes the west coast he could sign with the Padres.

      • If I was ownership I would go after Cole. Give him an opt out say, 3 yrs in. Sign him for 6. Pile a BUNCH of incentives in. Also Will Smith to Will Smith sounds good too. I can’t see our owners going longer than 5 for Cole. That alone would prevent us from signing him. Unless the incentive clauses are HUGE.

  9. The Dodgers have a solid young core. What we need are a few veterans to provide balance. In hindsight, letting Howie Kendrick go wasn’t a good move.

  10. The Hot Stove has not even opened its doors and the Blue are already linked to Cole. Lets not forget about the immediate past : Lack of clutch hitting; strikeouts galore; managerial lapses; and platooning. I would like to see these pressing needs addressed first!!!! We certainly do have players who can be dealt in exchange for more credible relief pitching!!!! A back-up catcher might be nice although I read that AF thinks Martin might want to come back. Hill? Does Cole really want to join us or is he just trying to see how much he can get. Go Blue!!!!

  11. The Dodgers needed starting pitchers and bullpen help before the trade deadline and did nothing to improve their situation. I wish they had owners like Steinbrenner was with the Yankees back in the day. He went out and got the players he needed to win the WS. And after he won one WS, he wanted to win another, and another, and another!

  12. I just don’t know what the FO office think. Are they satisfied with making profit or remaining contender for another years to come? All dodgers fans are long time loyal fans. We are all happy to be a contender for another decade but we also want dodgers to win World Series. I don’t know if it’s front office’s decision or not but last 3years Dave Roberts made so many poor decisions. We all know our weakness. 1. Bullpen 2. Right hand hitter 3. Young starting power pitcher besides Walker Buehler. Most important part is a wise and clever manager with the cut. Dodgers forever.

  13. The Dodgers feel absolutely NO pressure from the fans. If they did, the would have fired Roberts.

  14. Ice Cube stupid for making such a comment. He has no idea what he is talking about. The team is great as it is whether there are black players or not. Has nothing to do with race. All we need is Cole to come to LA and we are championship bound. Cube is probably the racist one mentioning color just ridiculous. I will say, if a white man said something like that, it would be all over the news. Smh….

  15. He’s going to sign with a California team, and I would not be surprised if not with the Angels or Dodgers he ends up with the Padres.

  16. I hear a baseball insider is also linking Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, and Henry Aaron to the Dodgers too

  17. The Dodgers FO is just as predictable as their manager and Roster moves. Gotta love JT for announcing he will give up 3rd for Rendon. Shows he acknowledges we need help and he is a gamer. The FO will never pay BIG for the BEST FA’s available as recent history has proven. Just as they won’t change their philosophy of Analytics and sabermetrics. They will never attain fundamental baseball like Hit and runs, sac bunts, squeeze plays etc. to score and keep pressure on teams to play defense etc. The Days of Tommy are long gone when He demanded his teams all execute such basic baseball strategy. If suddenly the Dodgers and the FO make a certifiable run at the Title next year by going all out and spending the required 220 million payroll to get a Cole and Rendon, I will return to Dodger stadium and spend my money, but this year did it for me. I want a winner in the 2nd Largest market in baseball, and 31 years is actually becoming ridiculous for this great franchise to be in a drought. No money being spent, no money from me from now on.

    • I go to games because I am close by. I enjoy the 10-15 games per year, but the days of 30+ are over. I spend lots of money at the stadium, the least the team can do it spend some of their money too. I no longer have Spectrum, so TV is out of the question. Money for gas and home is the priority.

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