The acquisition of Gerrit Cole gives the Yankees an unquestioned ace, but it also may give Aaron Boone the most dangerous starting rotation in baseball.
As it turns out, the third time is actually a charm for Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman. His third attempt to convince Gerrit Cole to don pinstripes allowed New York to land the bona fide ace they needed to anchor their starting rotation. It also may give Aaron Boone the deepest group of starting pitchers in the game.
There’s zero question that Cole will be the man who anchors the group. The Yankees didn’t hand him a nine-year, $324 million contract to do anything other than take the ball on Opening Day. The only real questions remaining in the Bronx are how the pitching staff will fill in around Cole.
Boone has some decisions to make about starters two through five, but he’s certainly dealing from a position of strength. This piece will walk through the Yankees’ projected 2020 starting rotation, starting with the team’s shiny free agency signing.
1. Gerrit Cole
There are only two concerns that Yankees fans should have about Cole. First, he’ll need to prove he can handle the emotional pressure of pitching under the scrutiny he’ll face in New York. Being the Yankees’ ace comes with a lot of pressure. Arriving in New York on the biggest deal in the history of free agency is only going to turn the heat up on the 29-year-old right-hander.
The second concern is obviously Cole’s ability to stay healthy. He doesn’t arrive with a checkered injury past, but it’s always a question mark for a pitcher who is expected to shoulder a 200-inning workload. Any significant injury to Cole could derail the Yankees’ dreams of ending their World Series drought in 2020.
For the record, neither of those concerns should have given Cashman and his front office any hesitation about signing Cole. They’ve paid a fortune for his services, but it’s a move the organization almost had to make. Cole is the perfect winter signing for this team.