The New York Yankees and RHP Gerrit Cole agree to a record 9 year deal worth $324 million, first reported by MLB Insider John Heyman.
It had been a forgone conclusion that Cole was going to get record money this offseason after coming off of one of the most dominant seasons by a pitcher in recent memory where he posted a 20-5 record, 2.50 ERA, a 6.8 WAR, and 326 Strikeouts in 212.2 innings pitched. Coming into the offseason nobody really expected Cole to go for $300+ million because that money and length for a starting pitcher had never been heard of. But his worth skyrocketed into the next level yesterday when Stephen Strasburg set the starting pitcher record deal of 7 years/$245 million. No disrespect to Strasburg, but Cole who is two years younger, and been more dominant, was always going to get more. It was then that the fantasies of a $300 million pitcher became reality. So what does this mean for Cole, the Yankees and the rest of the MLB?
For Cole, he gets everything he could’ve ever imagined. Setting the record for largest contract by a pitcher, blowing all the others out of the water, and gets to play for the team he rooted for as a child. This tweet by Matthew Stucko aged rather nicely.
If Gerrit Cole ends up on the Yankees, this photo of him as a kid will be everywhere. pic.twitter.com/d8aAnTP6w1
— Matthew Stucko (@MatthewStucko) December 16, 2017
For the Yankees and GM Brian Cahsman, the addition of Cole should be the final piece to the teams hopes of winning their 28th World Series, and their first since 2009, which is an eternity in Yankees years. Cole slides right into the Yankees rotation as the bonafide ace of the team, allowing the rest of the rotation to fill out beautifully. Severino as the game 2, Tanaka as the game 3 starter and lets not forget James Paxton, in a playoff series gives the Yankees a legit powerhouse starting rotation, something they have been losing to in recent years. Any 9 year signing is something to be concerned about down the line, but Cole who is just 29 years old, is in the midst of his prime, allowing the Yankees to get 5-6 great seasons out of Cole. Now when you look at the Yankees roster, there is no weakness. The only team in the way of the Yankees over the past few years had been the Astros. Signing Cole away from Houston, weakens the Astros, strengthens the Yankees, and I think puts the Yankees in a league of their own. The time to win for the Yankees is now, the team is compete, full with prime players, and have the battle wounds of great breaking playoff loses. The hunger to win is there at every level, the proof being the tears in the locker room after the loss to Houston, and now the front office saying screw the numbers, let’s get the guy that completes the team. It should be an exciting season in the Bronx.