The Phillies have shut down rookie starter Jonathan Pettibone for another three to six weeks, reports CSN Philly’s John Finger. The right-hander hasn’t started since the end of July due to a strained right shoulder. A recent MRI revealed inflammation in his right rotator cuff, but thankfully there is no structural damage. He will receive a second opinion from orthopedist Dr. Neal ElAttrache.
Amaro on Pettibone’s setback:
“We’re going to be cautious with Jonathan. We don’t want to mess around with him too much,” Amaro said. “He has inflammation of his rotator cuff and some of the normal changes on his labrum that normally happen at this stage of his career, so we’re going to shut him down.”
Pettibone was a bright spot in an otherwise grim season for the Phillies. He initially joined the rotation when John Lannan succumbed to an injury in April, but stuck around out of necessity. He posted a 4.04 ERA in 100.1 innings spread out over 18 starts.
In other injured Phillies starter news, Roy Halladay will make a third rehab start with Double-A Reading on Sunday. He has looked less-than-stellar in his previous two starts, but the Phillies are hoping he can shake that off this weekend and return to the rotation in time to make another four or five starts to give them an idea what he has left in the tank.
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.