SAN DIEGO -- The big move has been made. Gerrit Cole has agreed to join the Yankees for the richest contract ever for a pitcher, and agent Scott Boras was doing a victory lap around the Manchester Grand Hyatt early this morning.
It caps an explosive week here at the winter meetings as the top contract for a pitcher was held by Stephen Strasburg for all of one day.
It's now down to the lower tiers of available pitching, and the Twins are left with trying to sign Madison Bumgarner (pictured), Hyun-Jin Ryu, Dallas Keuchel and Rick Porcello to fill out their rotation.
Do they have a shot?
Their task will be tougher, as reports have the Dodgers and Angels pivoting toward Bumgarner, who wants a nine-figure deal. There some concern about the innings he has logged through the years, but his ability to ride in on his horse in a big moment and save the day is still a possibility. And a team like the Twins could use that type of ability to push them through a playoff game. Are they willing to meet that price for a 30-year old pitcher? Both the Dodgers and Angels are motivated buyers, which could push that number over $100 million over five years.
Keuchel could be a better fit if he's willing to accept fewer years. Does Ryu want to leave the west coast? A Korean reporter tweeted that Ryu is not bound by geography. I will believe it went I see it, because the Twins, as of Monday night, were trying to receive assurances that Ryu was willing to pitch for them.
There was some buzz around the lobby late Tuesday night that Porcello might be open to a one-year deal to prove himself then head back into free agency after the 2020 season. Porcello was 14-12 with a 5.52 ERA last season for the Red Sox, so a one-year deal would seem reasonable. He's been reliable, making at least 27 starts in each of his 11 seasons, with five of at least 180. Was also told he would be a great mentor to younger players
Also keep in mind my winter meetings preview story on Sunday, in which the Twins could pivot to add offense if they don't splash a lot of money on a starter. Josh Donaldson might still be on their radar as a third base solution, with Miguel Sano moving to first. That could be the path they take if they don't drop $100 million on an arm.
But Donaldson is in the same boat as Bumgarner was. He could wait until Anthony Rendon signs a big money deal, then watch the teams who fail to land Rendon start knocking on his door.
The winter meetings head into their final full day with the Twins sorting through these various scenarios.