10 years ago, CC Sabathia was the most sought after free agent after a major second half for the Milwaukee Brewers. He signed with the Yankees for $161M, and was the missing piece that brought the vaunted pinstripes back to baseball’s promise land.
Just weeks after being eliminated by a Gerrit Cole-led Astros in the ALCS, they look to reach the pinnacle again in 2020….with Gerrit Cole.
MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand is reporting that the sweepstakes for the ace is over, and just a day after Stephen Strasburg’s $35M AAV broke the all-time record for a pitcher, it’s broken again. Gerrit Cole has agreed to a 9-year, $324M contract with baseball’s most historic franchise. This is $36M a year.
Cole, who will be 29 in 2020, will be in pinstripes until age-38. In 2019, he was arguably the best pitcher in baseball, posting a 20-5 record with a 2.50 ERA (best in the league) and a league-leading 326 strikeouts. He finished second in Cy Young voting to teammate and future Hall of Famer Justin Verlander.
Over his first 7 seasons, he’s pitched 1,995 innings with 1336 Ks to a 3.22 ERA between the Pirates and Astros. His career FIP, however, is 3.06, meaning he’s been even better and just hasn’t had the best of luck. He is a bonafide ace in every sense of the word, and one that the Yankees attempted to acquire 2 offseasons ago, when a trade fell through with Pittsburgh.
The Yankees had the worst starting pitching of any playoff team in 2019, thus needing to make a major improvement. There is zero doubt that the 3x All-Star is now their number one.
Cole was even more dominant in the postseason. He pitched 15.1 innings against the Yankees biggest threat to the AL East crown in 2020, the Tampa Bay Rays, and only gave up one run—a homerun ambushed by Eric Sogard, who isn’t even on the team anymore—while striking out 25. Against the Yankees he gave up zero runs over 7 innings in his sole outing. He struck out 15 Nationals in a World Series effort.
Brian Cashman again proves his surname is more than just a name, as he looks to bring the World Series title back to the biggest market that can play for it.
PSE will keep you updated as more details are made available.
Ken Rosenthal has confirmed the years and money. This sets the most money overall for a pitcher in a contract, breaking David Price’s record by $107M. Cole will make $36M a year, tying with Mike Trout as the game’s highest paid player of all-time, and putting him above position players such as Nolan Arenado and Manny Machado. USAToday’s Bob Nightengale claims that there is deferral of money. Feinsand is reporting that there is an opt out after 2024. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that he has a full no-trade clause.
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