Twins High Impact Pitching Options Dwindling as Wheeler and Hamels Reach Agreements
Image courtesy of © Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY SportThe moves mean that among top-tier starting pitchers, only five remain: Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg, Madison Bumgarner, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Dallas Kuechel. Here are their profiles from Twins Daily's Offseason Handbook, which you can still download for whatever price you think is fair.
Gerrit Cole, RHP
Previous Team: Astros
2019 Stats: 2.50 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, 13.8 K/9, 2.0 BB/9 in 212.1 IP
The big fish. The crown jewel. The white whale. Upon being traded from Pittsburgh to Houston two years ago, Cole went from being a great pitcher to one of the best in the game, and he's coming off a career year with 326 strikeouts and 20 wins. Still only 29 years old, the right-hander will command a king's ransom. Are you prepared to wade into these waters?
Estimated Contract: 7 years, $224 million
Stephen Strasburg, RHP
Previous Team: Nationals
2019 Stats: 3.32 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 10.8 K/9, 2.4 BB/9 in 209.0 IP
Presumably, Strasburg will opt out of his remaining four years and $100 million with the Nationals. At the very least he should be able to beef up his current deal in Washington, and if he tests the open market, there's a decent chance someone else could lure him away. Obviously, that'd be a pricy proposition. Strasburg's stuff is as good as it gets, and he's coming off a fantastic season. But, he has averaged only 145 innings over the past four seasons, so there's some durability risk attached to the sky-high price tag.
Estimated Contract: 6 years, $150 million
Madison Bumgarner, LHP
Previous Team: Giants
2019 Stats: 3.90 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 8.8 K/9, 1.9 BB/9 in 207.2 IP
The legendary World Series performer hasn't quite been the same over the past three years as he was through age 26; his downturn coincides with a 2017 dirtbike accident that injured his pitching shoulder. Since his return, he's still been effective – albeit looking more like a No. 2 than No. 1. He did pitch very well in the second half of 2019. The record of postseason mastery remains a primary selling point, even if it's been five years since we've seen it.
Estimated Contract: 4 years, $80 million
Hyun-Jin Ryu, LHP
Previous Team: Astros
2019 Stats: 2.32 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 8.0 K/9, 1.2 BB/9 in 182.2 IP
The Korean southpaw is coming off some kinda season. He was the best pitcher in an elite Dodgers rotation that included Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, and Rich Hill. Ryu has in fact always been quite effective when on the mound, boasting a 54-33 career record and 2.98 ERA. The trouble has been staying healthy. Prior to 2019 he'd totaled 213.2 IP over the past four seasons. LA will surely seek to bring him back and it may be tough to pry him away, but money talks if you're willing to take the risk with the upside.
Estimated Contract: 3 years, $54 million
Dallas Keuchel, LHP (ATL, 32): Signed midway through the season after shedding his draft-pick compensation and pitched to form in Atlanta: a solid No. 2 type but hardly an ace. 3 years, $45 million
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