Cole's potential record-breaking contract could see him earn more than $300 million, according to the New York Post. The former Houston Astros ace could reportedly get a contract worth $324 million over nine years which would earn him about $36 million annually.
The New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels are seen as the front-runners to sign Cole. He is reportedly expected to sign a deal with a team before this week's Winter Meetings come to an end. New York is already looking to trade pitcher J.A. Happ to help soften the blow the team would take, according to the New York Post.
Cole's figure is expected to be much higher than Strasburg's seven-year, $245 million deal for a few reasons. Cole has relatively been healthy his entire career while Strasburg needed Tommy John surgery during the early part of his career. Cole is also two years younger than Strasburg. He is 29 years old.
Should Cole get the $300 million, he would join four other active major leaguers with contracts of $300 million or higher. Manny Machado signed a $300 million contract and Bryce Harper signed a $330 million contract last offseason. Giancarlo Stanton signed his $325 million contract in 2015. Mike Trout signed a $426.5 million contract last offseason as well.
Cole finished in second place in American League Cy Young Award voting this year. He led the American League with a 2.50 ERA and led the majors with 326 strikeouts.