The New York Yankees have reportedly agreed to give ace right-hander Gerrit Cole the biggest deal for a pitcher in Major League Baseball history.
The New York Yankees landed their ace. After making it clear they were prepared to do whatever it took to land All-Star right-hander Gerrit Cole, they did just that, handing Cole a record contract to bring him to the Bronx.
Just one day after Stephen Strasburg got a record deal worth $245 million, the Yankees eclipsed it by more than $75 million.
Cole is going to get a whopping $36 million annually, breaking the record for a pitcher and matching the market for top position players. Cole almost got the same deal as Bryce Harper signed last season, but his was for 13 years. This one pays Cole for nine.
Cole also reportedly has an opt-out after the fifth year, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported.
After missing out on marquee free agents last year, this is the Yankees going all in on a player that they know they need.
The Yankees were always missing an ace pitcher last season. Luis Severino got hurt pretty early, and while Masahiro Tanaka did his best to take his place, he could only do so much with issues surrounding his elbow still there. The Yankees faced the Houston Astros, who took them out with the three-headed monster of Justin Verlander, Cole and Zack Greinke.
Now, one of those heads is coming to the Evil Empire.
The Yankees knew they had to take advantage of this window with the young stars on their books that are currently making peanuts. Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez are in arbitration this offseason, but both still have three years of control. Gleyber Torres, who may eventually be the best of all of them, is still in pre-arbitration.
The time was right for the Yankees to strike, and this makes their rotation straight up filthy. On top of Cole, Tanaka and Severino, the Yankees also have James Paxton, J.A. Happ (who will likely be traded) and Jordan Montgomery coming back from injury.
The headline here is that the Yankees showed they were willing to outspend the competition to keep Cole away from his hometown. Both the Los Angeles Angels and Los Angeles Dodgers were in on the 29-year-old right-hander.
Did the Yankees make the right move? This is a ton of money for a contract that will take the player through the end of his prime. However, the Yankees just ended their first decade in a very long time without a World Series appearance. It seemed they were always going to make those final moves to get this team where it needed to be, and they would figure out the bottom line later. This is a George Steinbrenner move, and if you’re a Yankees fan you got to love it.