I’ll admit that I didn’t stay up to watch this one, but the Padres and Blue Jays played into the wee small hours of the morning in San Diego. It wasn’t until the bottom of the 17th inning that there was there a winner, as Jesus Guzman singled home Jedd Gyorko to give the Padres a 4-3 win. You can watch video of the walk-off hit here.
It was a long wait for offense in PETCO Park, as the game was tied at 3-3 after the fifth inning. Both teams used eight pitchers and there was a total of 493 pitches thrown. The Padres were forced to use Saturday’s scheduled starter Clayton Richard for the final two innings, so they are now calling up Robbie Erlin to pitch in his place later tonight.
The game took four hours and 58 minutes to complete and ended at 3:11 a.m. ET. It was the longest game for the Padres since 2009 and the longest for the Blue Jays since 2005.
Bob Klapisch of The New York Times reports that free agent starter Gerrit Cole has a seven-year, $245 million contract offer on the table from the Yankees. As Klapisch also notes, the deal would set a record for total value and average annual value for a pitcher, besting Zack Greinke‘s $34.4 million AAV and David Price‘s $217 million total.
While it is possible that Cole signs before the end of the Winter Meetings on Thursday, clients of Scott Boras have tended to sign later in the offseason, so this may be a protracted process with today’s report as a jumping-off point. Both the Yankees’ and Angels’ front offices have received clearance from ownership to break the bank to sign Cole.
Cole, 29, could not have timed having a career year any better. During the regular season, he led all of baseball with 326 strikeouts and led the American League with a 2.50 ERA while also posting a 20-5 record and walking only 48 batters across 212 1/3 innings. He performed brilliantly in the playoffs as well, holding the opposition to seven runs on 21 hits and 11 walks with 47 strikeouts over 36 2/3 innings of work as the Astros narrowly missed out on winning another championship.
Cole is entering his age-29 season, so a deal of at least seven years would take him well into his mid-30’s. Teams, especially lately, have been hesitant to commit to pitchers, but as the Nationals showed with Max Scherzer and Patrick Corbin, sometimes it leads to a championship.
For what it’s worth, Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports says the Yankees haven’t made a formal offer to Cole yet, though the club plans to make one this week. During this time of year, both sides — front office personnel and player agents — leak details to the press to help establish leverage. What we can generally take from this is that the Yankees are hot for Cole and he’s going to get a record-setting contract from some team, even if it’s not the Yankees.