Gerrit Cole is a New York Yankee.
After months of speculation, Cole Watch is finally over. According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the 29-year-old right-hander has reportedly agreed to a nine-year, $324 million contract with the Yankees. The deal includes a full no-trade clause, and none of his money will be deferred, reports Joel Sherman. Jeff Passan of ESPN says that Cole has an opt-out after year five.
Breaking: Gerrit Cole to Yankees. 9 years. 36M per. 324M total.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 11, 2019
Cole’s deal represents the largest ever for a pitcher, and the largest Average Annual Value of any player in MLB history at $36 million per year. The Yankees now have perhaps the final piece of the puzzle that can put them over the top in their quest for a 28th World Series championship. Cole slots in atop a rotation that features the likes of Luis Severino, James Paxton and Masahiro Tanaka.
In 2019, Cole went an eye-popping 20-5 with a 2.50 ERA, 326 strikeouts in 212.1 innings pitched. A native of Newport Beach, Calif., many thought he wanted to play out West, with perhaps the Angels or Dodgers. But the Yankees, much like in 2008 with CC Sabathia, were not going to be denied.
It’s widely known that Cole grew up as a Yankee fan. The Yankees drafted him 28th overall out of high school in 2008, but he decided to attend UCLA. Cole was then drafted No. 1 by the Pirates in 2011, and Brian Cashman tried to trade for him two years ago, before he was ultimately dealt to the Astros.
The third time appears to have been the charm.
Check out the newest Cole/Bronx Pinstripes merch below. LET’S GO
We got our ACE!! LET’S GOOOOOO!!!!!
IT’S A COLE WORLD!! #YANKEES
📲 https://t.co/WSAeeqc3rl pic.twitter.com/0cUfFDsaKW
— Bronx Pinstripes (@BronxPinstripes) December 11, 2019