SAN DIEGO — Only one team could sign Gerrit Cole and the Yankees gave him $324 million to make sure it was them.
So what does that mean for everyone else?
Dodgers: The West Coast Yankees continue to talk about doing a mega-deal, but seem chilled by the illogic of it all. They were slugging it out for Cole until the end, but the ace favored the Yankees. With the rest of the prices for starting pitchers being dragged up now — don’t be surprised if Madison Bumgarner tops five years at $100 million or Hyun-jin Ryu exceeds four years at $80 million — the Dodgers will consider that duo, but are probably now more likely to pivot to a significant bat.
That could be free-agent third basemen Anthony Rendon (The Rangers are still the favorites there) or Josh Donaldson. But the Dodgers’ farm system is deep enough, their financial flexibility great enough and their resolve to impact the top of their roster strong enough that they will be in the middle of it if any of the following actually move: Boston’s Mookie Betts, Cleveland’s Francisco Lindor, Houston’s Carlos Correa or Colorado’s Nolan Arenado. Of all of these, the Dodgers are most closely associated with…