© Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

This past winter around the Major League Baseball world was among the slowest moving in history. In fact, the top free agents in the game did not sign until late February.

There’s a number of reasons for this. First off, teams are now more afraid than ever to give up draft pick compensation after free agents have been handed qualifying offers.

The slow-moving market also includes teams with tighter payrolls.

Some expect much of the same this offseason. According to super agent Scott Boras, that won’t be the case with top free agent Gerrit Cole this winter.

Coming off an absolutely brilliant 2019 campaign, Cole is already drawing ample interest on the hot stove. That includes the Los Angeles Angels and New York Yankees.

There’s no real reason to believe teams will push back in giving up draft pick compensation to a pitcher that has posted a 35-10 record with a 2.68 ERA while striking out an absurd 602 batters over the past two seasons.

Other free agents might struggle with early deals. But as Boras notes, don’t expect that to be the case with Cole.