It was repeatedly said yesterday that the Yankees were preparing an offer to Cole once Brian Cashman arrived in San Diego at the Winter Meetings. It appears that happened, but we don’t know the exact details. Maybe it was the 7-year, $245M offer that Bob Klapisch reported on Sunday, but I can’t imagine Cashman would have brought that to Boras and Cole after seeing Strasburg get that exact contract.
In the meantime as we wait for Cole updates, check out this article comparing the Yankees signing of CC Sabathia in December 2008 to their pursuit of Cole now. There are a lot of parallels.
Tuesday, 11:30 AM ET
Apparently the Angels are also interested in the top position player on the free agent market, Anthony Rendon.
#LAAngels are another team that’s expressed interest in Anthony Rendon. So there’s Dodger-Angel battle on 2 fronts: Rendon and Cole (obvs other teams involved as well)
Why is this Yankees/Cole related? Because Cole is reportedly concerned with the Angels’ ability to compete next season. Obviously they have Mike Trout, but their roster is top heavy. If they also add Rendon their team looks more formidable. And don’t think potentially signing Rendon would prevent them from signing Cole. Angels owner Arte Moreno is not afraid to spend money, and I could actually see a scenario where LAA gets both Cole and Rendon, or neither.
It also should be pointed out that Scott Boras is also Rendon’s agent. Heyman is a Boras crony, and relaying information (true or false) from Boras that will benefit his clients.
Tuesday, 1:00 PM ET
Yes! This is the update I’ve been waiting for. The infamous Mystery Team is involved in the Cole sweepstakes. I feel so bad for fans of the Mystery Team, they always miss out on the best free agents.
Hear there’s a mystery team on Cole. Hard to imagine anyone thinks they are coming in late and outbidding the Yankees and 2 LA teams (even if one’s in Anaheim). No idea the identity of said team, but that’s why it’s a mystery.
You can kind of tell Heyman doesn’t even believe his own report. He says this team won’t beat out the Yankees, Angels, or Dodgers… because there is no team. Usually when a Mystery Team enters the party though, a real team signs the player soon after.
Tuesday, 3:00 PM ET
Buster Olney on ESPN reported that the Yankees submitted an offer to Gerrit Cole that is more than Strasburg’s $245M record-setting deal.
Boras said that “it’s logical” that Cole will land a larger contract than Strasburg, being a younger, high strikeout pitcher.
Unfortunately there’s no more info at the moment and we don’t know how much the offer was for. I hesitate to even post this as “news” because it was obvious (Boras says “logical”) that Cole will receive more than Strasburg. But I think it’s important to note that an offer has been submitted so we could have an answer pretty soon.
My guess on the contract that Cole eventually signs? 9-years, $324M. This beats Strasburg’s AAV by $1M and takes them through the same age. Unlike the last two winters, teams are spending.
Big Free Agent contracts for pitchers this offseason:
Wheeler beat Fangraphs projection total value by 63.8%, signed $118M
Strasburg beat Fangraphs projection total value by 63.3%, signed $245M
If Cole beats his projection by ~63%, that is a $365M contract
Scott Boras just finished his media session at the Winter Meetings and he mentioned two Mystery Teams now involved. You know my feelings about Mystery Teams (see above), but Bowden – who is still connected to people in MLB – theorizes who those teams might be.
The Yankees, with 4 exclamation points, are the current favorites, but only by one exclamation point over the Angels. He puts the Giants at third, which is surprising, and the Dodgers with two question marks. I still think the Dodgers will get a call before Cole signs anything, so they’re in play. The Mystery Teams he mentions are interesting, but I only see the White Sox as a team willing to spend $300M+ on Cole. However, they seem to miss out on every Free Agent despite signing their best friends and family members. It’s still a three team race in my mind: Yankees, Angels, and Dodgers.
Tuesday, One Minute To Midnight
By now you’ve seen the news that the Yankees signed Gerrit Cole to a record-smashing 9-year, $324M deal. I figured I’d update this blog for continuity and to give some initial thoughts.
First, I’m ecstatic that Cole will be pitching in pinstripes next season. This makes the Yankees World Series favorites and it addresses their biggest weakness – starting rotation. It was a great finish to an annoying day of non-updates updates, despite officially losing Didi to Philly (it doesn’t look like the Yankees were ever in on him).
Nine years is a long time. Might the back half of this contract look bad? Yup. But at this point I don’t care. The goal is to win the next 4 World Series and that’s all I’m focused on.
This tweet from Buster Olney this morning is interesting however.
Yankees Hal Steinbrenner spoke directly to Scott Boras as the two sides went through the Gerrit Cole negotiation, and the turning point seemed to be when Steinbrenner added a ninth year to the Yankees' offer.
It indicates perhaps Cashman was hesitant to give a 9th year. Maybe he just needed Steinbrenner approval to do so and that’s all this means, but it could also indicate Steinbrenner (the boss) made the final call. I’m glad he did, because what’s the difference between $36M for 8 years and $36M for 9 years? Yes, the difference is $36M but the question was rhetorical.
Anyway, we’ve got plenty of sick Cole merch up that should arrive in time for Christmas if you order today!