Five Free Agents the Miami Marlins Should Consider for 2020

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 28: Neil Walker #18 of the Miami Marlins hits a two-run home run against the Philadelphia Phillies during the eighth inning of a game at Citizens Bank Park on September 28, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies defeated the Marlins 9-3. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 28: Neil Walker #18 of the Miami Marlins hits a two-run home run against the Philadelphia Phillies during the eighth inning of a game at Citizens Bank Park on September 28, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies defeated the Marlins 9-3. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /
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Miami Marlins
ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 29: Gerrit Cole #45 of the Houston Astros pitches in the fifth inning against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 29, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Kent Horner/Getty Images) /

Gerrit Cole

Gerrit Cole collected 326 strikeouts in 2019 while in a pennant race with the Houston Astros.

The 6’4″ 28-year-old right-hander already has 94 regular season wins to his credit, and has three times in his first seven seasons eclipsed 200 strikeouts. Additionally, his K/9 rate has increased in each of the last four seasons, from 7.6 in 2016, to 8.7 in 2017, to a National League leading 12.4 in 2018. In 2019, he increased it to an incredible 13.8 per nine innings, over 212 1/3 innings. He racked up a 0.895 WHIP and is just now entering his “peak” seasons of production. He’s also durable, having topped 200 innings in four of his last five seasons.

The acquisition of Cole would instantly display credulity to a beleaguered Miami Marlins fanbase, and a willingness to go deep into the organizational pockets to lock up a sure-fire winner. How much would this cost the franchise? Likely somewhere in the seven-year, $220 million range. Is Cole’s rate sustainable? Unknown, but we may be looking at a Max Scherzer-like reign of power pitching from him. I’d buy a ticket for a ride on the Cole-Train, were he with the Miami Marlins. The only question is how much the new ownership group is willing to pay.

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