Scott Boras, who is Cole’s agent, will more than likely seek a three-year extension that would run through Cole’s arbitration years and allow him to become a free agent before his age becomes a factor in contract negotiations. Pittsburgh is un-interested in doing that, however, also according to Biertempfel.
The 26-year-old Cole is currently scheduled to head to free agency in 2019, and that is assuming that the Pirates and Cole don’t alternate that current timetable this winter.
With Cole coming off a struggling 2016 season, it is most likely to look for a one-year contract that features a double-figure salary mark. If Cole rebounds well in 2017, the Pirates will be more likely to give Cole and Boras the multi-year extension they are seeking.
Another factor that goes into a possible Cole’s contract situation is his injury situation. While he has been fantastic since coming up to the Majors in 2013, Cole has had several stints to the disabled list. He went on the disabled list three separate times this season, and the Pirates eventually had to shut him down for the year.
Pittsburgh will need Cole to anchor their pitching staff after trading away Francisco Liriano during the season. They made a trade to land Ivan Nova from the Yankees, and they have several young pitchers in Tyler Glasnow, Jameson Taillon, and others currently behind Cole in the rotation.
Cole had a win-loss record of 7-10 this season, with a 3.68 earned run average and 98 strikeouts over 116 innings of work.
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