Gerrit Cole, who was selected No. 1 overall by the Pirates in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, made his professional debut in the Arizona Fall League yesterday.
The results aren’t all that important, but Cole gave up three runs on three hits over 2 1/3 innings while striking out two and walking one. The 21-year-old right-hander tossed two scoreless innings before running into trouble in the third. According to Ashley Marshall of MLB.com, he reportedly topped out at 100 mph with his fastball and threw 35 out of 52 pitches for strikes.
Here’s a link to some video of his start, courtesy of MLBProspectPortal.com.
Cole received an $8 million signing bonus in August as part of a minor league contract with the Pirates, surpassing the $7.5 million Stephen Strasburg received in a major league contract with the Nationals in 2009. The UCLA product will make his minor league debut next season.
The Orioles singlehandedly kept the rumor mill churning this weekend. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the club is interested in making a play for free agent right-hander Lance Lynn, adding him to a list of potential candidates that also includes free agent righty Alex Cobb. The two are expected to command similar contracts in free agency, but Morosi notes that the Orioles may prefer Cobb based on his familiarity with the AL East.
Lynn, 30, is two years removed from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Despite missing the 2016 season, he bounced back with a respectable 11-8 record in 33 starts and complemented his efforts with a 3.43 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 over 186 1/3 innings for the 2017 Cardinals. He lost several days with a blister on his pitching hand in early September, but managed to avoid any major injuries and can reasonably be expected to shoulder another heavy workload in 2018.
Lynn may not be the Orioles’ first choice to beef up their starting rotation, but there’s no doubt that he’ll be in high demand as one of very few viable starters on the market this winter. The veteran righty rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals on Thursday and will likely be seeking a multi-year contract, one that Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch estimates around five years and $100+ million. If the Orioles are willing to bite that bullet, they’ll still need to compensate the Cardinals with their third pick in next year’s draft.