Immediately following the conclusion of every World Series, free agency speculations begin to kick in with predictions, speculations, rumors and other free agency-related information which generates the "hot stove" for baseball media. This season's free-agent class is headlined by Gerrit Cole who's expected to earn the largest deal ever signed by a pitcher. Meanwhile, the rest of the class is rounded out with Stephen Strasburg, Anthony Rendon, Madison Bumgarner, Josh Donaldson, and other high caliber and depth players. Here's what could happen before the 2020 season starts.

Cole signs with Yankees

The Yankees rotation has been the team's weakness for the past few seasons and it has prevented them from making the World Series and attempting to get ring number 28. They came one game away to making the World Series in 2017, lost in the ALDS in 2018 and came up short of making the World Series by being ousted by the Astros in six games in the ALCS this season. In order for the Yankees to get over the heap, they need to add to their rotation.

Enter Gerrit Cole.

After being taken first overall in 2011 by the Pirates, Cole was only mediocre in Pittsburgh but found his form in Houston after he was traded to the Astros prior to the 2018 season. In his two seasons in an Astros uniform, Cole was outstanding as he combined to go 35-10 with a 2.68 E.R.A. while striking out 602 batters and only giving up 285 hits in 412 2/3 innings pitched (65 starts).

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This season though he was on a whole other level as he went 20-5 with a 2.50 E.R.A. with 326 strikeouts, 142 hits given up and only walked 48 batters while posting an absurdly good opponent average of .186. He continued his dominance in the postseason by going 4-1 with an E.R.A. of 1.72 with 47 strikeouts and an opponent average of .165.

As the Yankees have a TON of money (valued at $4.6 billion), they'll sign Cole to the biggest contract ever given to a pitcher which will surpass the total amount given which was David Price's deal with the Red Sox that he signed in 2015 (seven years, $217 million) and highest AAV which was given to Zack Greinke also in 2015 with the Diamondbacks (AAV of $34.4 million).

Pineda signs two-year deal

Michael Pineda was once a promising pitcher with loads of talent but his career has been derailed with injuries and steroid use which resulted in suspensions. In fact, he was given a 60 game suspension last season for using a banned substance which will carry over into the first 39 games of next season.

With his suspension carrying into next season, Pineda will find himself in a similar situation from his first trip through free agency in 2017 where he signed a two year deal with the Twins.

The deal he signed in 2017 saw him make $2 million in 2018 in which he missed the whole season due to rehabbing from Tommy John surgery and $8 million in 2019. With the 39 game suspension to start the 2020 season, Pineda will get less money in 2020 than he'll get in 2021.

In 26 starts with the Twins, Pineda went 11-5 with a 4.01 E.R.A. with 140 strikeouts in 146 innings pitched. In six seasons in the big leagues and 143 starts under his belt, he's 51-46 with a 4.04 E.R.A. with 827 strikeouts in 826 innings pitched.

Even if he didn't come with a suspension to start next season, he still would have been able to get a two year deal with decent money especially since he's only going to be 31 years old next season. The White Sox, Brewers, Padres and Red Sox are potential fits among many other teams.

Matt Harvey goes unsigned

Matt Harvey was once one of the better pitchers in the major leagues and was considered a key component of the Mets' future.

In his first three seasons in the big leagues, he went 25-18 with a 2.53 E.R.A. with 449 strikeouts with only 333 hits given up in 427 innings pitched. In 2016, he took a significant step back and it only got worse from there.

He gave up hits to batters at a .302 clip in 2016, posted a 6.70 E.R.A. and an opponent average of .295 in 2017 and got released by the Mets in 2018. In 2019 with the Angels, he had the worse season yet posting a 7.09 E.R.A. in 12 starts and ended up getting released. Harvey seems to only be getting worse and most likely won't help any teams win games.

Even with his poor on-field performance, off the field, he isn't that much better. He has been talked a lot in the media for poor behavior, lack of work ethic and other off-field issues. His time off the field with the Angels didn't seem to be that much better either as he was interrogated by the DEA for potential illegal drug use in the wake of Tyler Skagg's death. Harvey is a disaster on and off the field which no team will want apart of.

Brock Holt becomes the biggest bargain and provides the most value relative to his deal

In a league that's more focused on guys hitting home runs, other aspects of the game have been given minimal attention which negatively affects players that excel in other components in the game of baseball.

Brock Holt has been in the majors for eight years but is widely unknown to baseball fans as he lacks power (147 career extra-base hits) but is a solid contact hitter and is the most versatile player in the major leagues with Marwin Gonzalez the only other big leaguer that can make a case as being more versatile. In eight years, he's slashed .271/.340/.374 but took it up a notch in 2019 by slashing .297/.369/.402. In the field, he can play all over the infield, the corner outfield spots and in an emergency can play CF.

Last offseason, Marwin Gonzalez received a two year, $21 million deal from the Twins when he came off a season slashing .247/.324/.409 with 16 HR. If the cards fall in place, Holt should be able to get the same amount of money as Gonzalez but would most likely need to do so on a three or four year deal.

Gardner re-signs with Yankees

Rappers 6ix9ine and Trippie Redd are known to have a feud going on between them where they have both taken shots at each other on social media, through songs and other methods.

One way they have escalated their feud is through Instagram Live where they argue with each other and take jabs at one another. On one occasion on Instagram Live that occurred last year, Trippie Redd asked 6ix9ine where he was and 6ix9ine responded with "***** I'm in Brooklyn ***** where the **** are you at man I'm in Brooklyn ***** you know where I'm at" in which Trippie responds with "Alright stay in Brooklyn" which 6ix9ine responds with "I'mma stay in Brooklyn *****...I don't know why I wouldn't stay here ***** of course I'm gonna stay here".

Same can be said half-an-hour away down in the Bronx with Brett Gardner and the Yankees.

Gardner was drafted by the Yankees in the third round in the 2005 draft and has remained in the organization since. He made his debut in 2008 and has appeared in 1499 games. He has a career slash line of .260/.342/.401 with 1355 hits and 267 stolen bases. He had a strong 2019 season as he hit a career-high 28 home runs and got a career-high 74 RBIs while slugging over .500 for the first time in his career. In his 12 seasons at the big league level with the Yankees, he's won one World Series (2009), made an all-star appearance (2015) and won a Gold Glove award in 2016 as well as being named defensive player of the year in 2016 as well.

With Aaron Hicks set to be sidelined for a good chunk of the season, it would be ideal for the Yankees to bring back the 36-year-old Gardner on a one year deal cause just like 6ix9ine doesn't know why he wouldn't stay in Brooklyn, I don't know why Gardner wouldn't stay in the Bronx either.

Speaking of teams re-signing their players, the Cardinals will re-sign Adam Wainwright who's spent his whole 14 year career in St.Louis, the Royals will re-sign Alex Gordon who has spent his whole 13 year career in KC and the White Sox will re-sign Jose Abreu who's been with the White Sox since he defected from Cuba.

Also, it seems ideal that the Nationals will re-sign Ryan Zimmerman who was the first-ever draft pick of the franchise and just won a World Series after spending 15 years in Washington. The Nats also have a need at 1B which is the position that Zimmerman plays leaving no reason why the Nats wouldn't give that spot to someone else.

Free-agent market develops at a faster pace

In the past two offseasons, the free-agent market was slow to develop as it took many star-caliber players a while to sign a contract and many players, especially veteran ones, were left without jobs. In the 2017-18 offseason, Jake Arrieta who won the NL Cy Young award in 2016, didn't sign a contract until late March which caused him to miss a small part of the beginning of the 2018 season as he didn't have a full spring training schedule to get him warmed for the season. Last offseason, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado had to wait until spring training started to sign contracts they deserved and Craig Kimbrel and Dallas Keuchel didn't sign until halfway through the season. With the crop of players available this time around, free agency will develop faster than it has in the previous years.

Gerrit Cole is just 29 years old and is in the prime of his career. He will be signing the biggest contract ever given to a pitcher and should be able to get a deal signed by sometime in January. His market may be stalled a little bit but that would only be because of the fact that he would want to have all options on the table before he decides where he'll go next. Stephen Strasburg opted out of the remaining four years left on his deal and is forfeiting $100 million by doing so but he should easily be able to get a contract with more money and term. There have been rumblings that both Strasburg and the Nationals are in talks to get a deal done. The top tier 3B, Anthony Rendon, and Josh Donaldson may take a little while to sign a deal due to them being in their 30s but both of them should be on a team before spring training starts. Meanwhile, there are a ton of mid-rotation starters available which is always a need for every team and every offseason usually before spring training starts, relievers fly off the boards as multiple teams look to fill bullpen spots. There's obviously going to be players that go unsigned into spring training and into the season but there should be more free agents finding teams to play for at a faster pace.

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