With Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals agreeing to a record-setting contract on the first day of the Winter Meetings, the focus now shifts to fellow free agency headliners Gerrit Cole and Anthony Rendon.
Strasburg’s deal has seemingly raised the bar for what Cole should receive, while Rendon could approach the $260 million Nolan Arenado received when signing an eight-year contract extension with the Colorado Rockies.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are among the teams that have been connected to both Cole and Rendon, though they are believed to be more likely to sign the 29-year-old third baseman as opposed to engaging in what’s expected to be a bidding war for Cole.
While the L.A. Angels are considered the biggest threat to the New York Yankees for Cole, they additionally have interest in Rendon as well, according to Jon Heyman of the MLB Network:
#LAAngels are another team that’s expressed interest in Anthony Rendon. So there’s Dodger-Angel battle on 2 fronts: Rendon and Cole (obvs other teams involved as well)
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 10, 2019
The Angels’ aggression further validates the notion owner Arte Moreno is committed to getting his team into a position to contend. They hired Joe Maddon after just one season with Brad Ausmus as manager, and recently committed to the city of Anaheim by agreeing to purchase Angel Stadium and the surrounding land.
While looking to keep their foothold in Orange County, some have posited the financial commitment will ultimately hinder their efforts in free agency. However, there yet has to be any indication that will be the case.
Although the Dodgers are said to have interest in Cole, and the Angels in Rendon, their respective rosters suggest both have more of a pitching need. Prior to the Angels entering the picture, the Dodgers and Texas Rangers were considered the favorites for Rendon.
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