Average Cole Should Inspire New York Yankees Deal For An Ace
Let's start here. Gerrit Cole is a very good Major League pitcher. The question that is looming is whether or not the $324 million man is an "ace." On Wednesday, New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone sent his highest paid pitcher to the mound to face division rival and odds-on favorite to win the AL East, the Toronto Blue Jays.
Cole got tagged for two home runs from MVP-favorite a week into the season, Vlad Guerrero Jr in 5 2/3 innings on Wednesday. Against the rest of the Blue Jays lineup, the right-handed pitcher was tough in the Bombers 6-4 loss. Cole only allowed 2 other hits besides Vlad's daggers, while striking out 6 Jays. Pretty good right? That depends.
Cole's performance was not good enough to beat New York's biggest threat in 2022. The best pitchers in baseball are supposed to neutralize their biggest opponents' best hitters. Twice Cole got beat by the Jays' best hitter. If the Yankees expect to win a World Series in 2022, either they need better out of Gerrit Cole or they need a better pitcher than Gerrit Cole is right now.
There is a prevailing feeling that Cole is not the same lock-down pitcher after the spider-tack ordeal. Yes, he has had some outstanding outings since but he also got knocked around, especially in the Wild Card game in Boston last October. Cole isn't coming up big for the Yankees and if general manager Brian Cashman wants to get his bosses a World Series ring sometime soon, he had better find an ace in his deck.
The Yankees have inventory, meaning enough players and prospects to make a good deal. If the Yankees are serious about winning a World Series then what are they waiting for? All of the prospects in the world mean nothing if you don't take advantage of what you have now. I am sure a package that includes Gleyber Torres and a few top prospects could entice a team like Cleveland to part with a guy like right-handed, 26-year-old Shane Bieber. Now, with Bieber, Cole, Severino, Taillon and Cortes/Montgomery, Aaron Boone would have the full-house with a few aces in his hand. That is the kind of rotation that the Yankees will need to get by Toronto and Tampa Bay in 2022. It's time to deal.