Why pursuing Gerrit Cole in free agency could be even more expensive for the Rangers than it seems

Houston Astros starting pitcher Gerrit Cole reacts to a call during the eighth inning of Game 2 of the baseball team’s American League Division Series against the Tampa Bay Rays in Houston, Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke) Ballzy podcast host Kevin Sherrington and Evan Grant discuss all things Texas Rangers baseball! In this week’s episode they talk about the moves the Rangers need to make this offseason. Listen to the full podcast below:

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On whether the Rangers should target position players or pitchers in free agency

Grant: The simple answer would be the position player,simply because the position player pays every day. I do think that what we see, particularly in the postseason, is that if you’ve got three starting pitchers that are reliable and durable, you’ve got an advantage in almost every series that you play in. I don’t know If I put Minor and Lynn on the same level as Strasburg and Scherzer and don’t know if Id’ put them on the same level as Kershaw and Ryu, but they are above average 1 and 2 starters in the American league. If you back that up with someone like Gerrit Cole — which would actually put him at the top of the rotation — you’ve got a really strong 1-2-3.

How much of an impact does that have? Well it saves you some relievers that might actually help the 4 and 5 spots be a little bit more effective for you. I think it takes some pressure off the offense and allows them to just kind of focus on approach instead of just getting so tight that they’ve just got to constantly feel like they are fighting at a big deficit.

On what signing Gerrit Cole would actually cost the Rangers

Grant: But if you go out and sign Gerrit Cole — even if you can get him — that’s it. That’s the only hole you are addressing. You’re not addressing third base. You’re not addressing center field which means you are probably starting Danny Santana. I think both you and I would certainly be okay with the possibility. You still haven’t addressed first base or catcher. And I don’t think you’re going to address second base or short stop, but there certainly are questions about what level of a second baseman and shortstop you have at this point. That would be the one of move that would have the most seismic change in the American League West — individual move in the American League West — but I also don’t know if it would significantly cut the deficit between the Rangers and the Astros.

The other part about Cole, and I don’t know how I feel about this either, if you sign Gerrit Cole you’re going […]

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