Today the Cubs DNA team takes a look at if free agents Gerrit Cole or Anthony Rendon make sense for the Chicago Cubs. As the top of this year's free agent class, most fans would want them on their team. We'll take a look at stats, potential contract, and fit on the Cubs roster. As you begin your Christmas shopping, we'll dream on potentially a huge gift to the Cubs' roster.
Gerrit Cole: free agent starting pitcher. Runner up in the 2019 Cy Young
Anthony Rendon: third baseman and 2019 MVP finalist.
I'm not sure either one particularly make sense for the Cubs. When considering age and financial impact, I'm not sure another big long term deal is right for the Cubs at this junction. That said, after a disappointing 2019, a splash move might be in order. Gerrit Cole should command a massive deal, and I'm just not sure the Cubs should be willing to pay big money to yet another starter. There is a need for an ace though, if you think he'll continue beyond age 30. Rendon could make sense, if you shift Bryant to the outfield. Problem with that is, you'd likely be looking at an OF of Schwarber, Heyward, and Bryant, and I'm not sure that's good enough defensively.
If the Cubs HAVE to sign one then I want Cole. However, I don't think the Cubs would spend money for either one as much as they would help the club next year. I agree with James that I don't think the Cubs would shell out another $100+ million contract to a starter. Rendon does not make sense unless you shift Bryant to the outfield and then that means either Castellanos does not get resigned or that Schwarber was traded. I don't think the Cubs would go that route so to me neither make sense for the Cubs.
Adding some fuel to this fire is a developing Kris Bryant service time situation. If KB is going to hit free agency a year sooner, then suddenly it's not as much of a stretch to bring Rendon in and shift KB to the outfield for a year. All of that depends on if the front office thinks they could re-sign Bryant too, but Rendon at a theoretical 6/150 might be better than a 8/300 that KB might command.
If we are under the assumption that Kris Bryant is NOT going to sign an extension and is possible going to be a free agent a year early then I guess I have to go with Anthony Rendon. Of course we're always eager to sign great starting pitching but I don't think that Gerrit Cole is a great fit for the Cubs rotation. He seems to be a bit of a spoiled brat? And while the rotation can handle one divo (sorry BDJ but it's kind of true!) I don't think it can handle two. Meanwhile the Cubs prospect pipeline doesn't exactly have any third baseman ready for the Show. Rendon could be a nice anchor to what will inevitably be a different looking outfield from 2020-2026 and beyond.
I agree about Cole's attitude-- the stunt with the Boras Co. hat after the World Series reminded me that he was kind of a baby with the Piebutts. Rendon? Eh. He's great, but another long contract for a player entering his 30's concerns me. If we're letting Sparkles walk, then I think Thed need to be more creative in replacing his production.
I'm not so sure Cole with be worth it. His production really spiked in Houston (especially K rate). Inevitably he just won't be as good, and if he's going to cost 150-200 million, that's another pricey SP in a rotation that includes Darvish, Lester, and in a way Tyler Chatwood. I've got the same concerns about attitude. Biggest concern is performance. In the two years prior to being traded to Houston, he put up 3.88 and 4.26 ERAs, missed a good half of one season, and WHIPs of 1.440 and 1.251. He's put up a 2.90 ERA or less 3 times, and put up an ERA of 3.65 or more 3 times.
I think you get someone who's good for 3.30 for a few years. In HOU, his K rate has been 12.4 and 13.8, per 9, leading the league both years. Before that, his career average was under 9. I think the Astros have given him some kind of mojo, and that it wears off for a new team. He'll still be a solid rotational piece, but I don't think he remains the lockdown SP he's become.
For me, neither. Cole is going to price himself out of the Cubs budget but I also don't think he's going to maintain his dominance with another team. As for Rendon, we don't need him. Stop trying to trade Sparkles, #CubsTwitter.
The more I think about it, I wonder if Cole's numbers are a byproduct of the Astros 'creative coaching.' Someone is going to pay him a LOT of money, and he'll be fine but I doubt he's 2019 Cole ever again. I do like Rendon, a LOT, but last year was a career year AND MLB may go back to the old ball. I'm not sure he's going to be worth his contract (like most FAs). If we're going to shop FAs, I think I'd rather get Donaldson (as long as he cuts his hair, lol). So, I think I actually don't see the Cubs getting either.