Yankees Sign Gerrit Cole To Record Deal

The 29-year-old free agent signed a nine-year, $324 million with the New York Yankees

December 11, 2019 - 8:33 am
Gerrit Cole Astros

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Gerrit Cole signed a record nine-year, $324 million deal with the New York Yankees on Tuesday. The deal includes a no-trade clause, a five-year opt-out, and eclipses Stephen Strasburg’s Monday deal for total money and average annual salary ($36 million).

A California native, Cole could have gone home in free agency. Instead, he’ll head to the Bronx – and he could be there for the rest of his career.

“He has the mentality that this is where he wanted to be,” WFAN Yankees reporter Sweeny Murti said on Ferrall on the Bench. “The ninth year certainly didn’t hurt, and (we’re assuming) the extra money . . . is what pushes the Yankees over the top. At some point, he was going to have to say, ‘Yes, that’s where I want to go’ – as opposed to playing at home and the allure of the that. Listen, the Yankees are a team that’s built to be a contending team, and you add Gerrit Cole, you might be a lot more than just a contending team. But it takes a special person to want to embrace that no matter how much money it is. Just saying yes tells you something about Gerrit Cole.”

Cole, 29, won his final 16 regular-season decisions with Houston last year and led the AL with a 2.50 ERA. His career-high 326 strikeouts were the most in the majors.

That’s why he got the big bucks.

“It’s a lot, and I’m not sure even just a few days ago we saw it getting this high,” Murti said. “But Strasburg signs at a level that I don’t think we saw. The deferments in that contract really take the value down a little bit to the point where rationally you could have offered the exact same deal that the Nationals gave Stephen Strasburg. But this isn’t rational. This is just counting dollars and looking a the number on paper. It became clear pretty quickly that you’d have to eclipse that by a pretty strong margin, and when you have big-market teams willing to go that far, you see what happens.”

The Yankees have won 100+ games two years in a row and have reached the ACLS in two of the last three. Cole could put the Yankees over the hump in 2020 and beyond.

“Four or five years is what you’re looking for as far as trying to get value out of it,” Murti said. “If you’re still getting value in year six or seven, that’s gold. If you’re getting anything out of it in year eight and nine, you got to consider that a bonus. You have to understand that. You got to pay what you got to pay to get the player and then you deal with it later because in the short window you realize that you’re probably getting something close to the value you anticipated.”