SAN DIEGO — Scott Boras mentioned two “mystery teams” that had reached out to him Tuesday to discuss Gerrit Cole, and the Astros appear to be one of them.
Houston is contemplating if it should make a late attempt to retain Cole, a source told The Post.
Such a signing would push the Astros over the second luxury tax threshold of $228 million and perhaps even the most punitive threshold of $248 million after never exceeding that threshold previously. But the Astros have concerns about what their rotation will look like moving forward.
Zack Greinke and Justin Verlander remain elite, but will pitch at 36 and 37 next season. Forrest Whitley, once a heralded prospect, has taken steps backward. Houston likes Brandon Bielak and Cristian Javier as players who could potentially help them in 2020. Cole, along with Greinke and Verlander, would make it easier to break in inexpensive pieces in the back end of the rotation.
It also would keep a strength a strength. The Astros and Nationals met in the World Series and might have had the majors’ best rotations. Washington kept its elite top three this week when it locked up Stephen Strasburg at seven years, $245 million.…