Stephen Strasburg may not be the richest pitcher in baseball history for very long.
Free-agent right-hander Gerrit Cole is expected to ink a contract worth much more than $300 million, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Sherman places the over/under at nine years and $324 million, which would give Cole an annual average value of $36 million per season.
That would be a significant increase from recent speculation that the Yankees were offering him a seven-year, $245-million contract, which, incidentally, is the deal Strasburg received to stay with the Washington Nationals.
Though the actual figures haven't been nailed down, whatever contract Cole ultimately signs is going to be massive.
The market for Cole's services is apparently heating up with the winter meetings underway in San Diego. The New York Yankees, Los Angeles Angels, and Los Angeles Dodgers remain interested, while the Philadelphia Phillies are also kicking around the idea of pursuing him, according to Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com.
Cole, 29, is understandably a hot commodity. Since being traded by the Pittsburgh Pirates to the Houston Astros, he's gone 35-10 with a 2.68 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, and 602 strikeouts over 412 2/3 innings in two seasons of work.