All bets (and offers) are officially off, as Gerrit Cole has signed with the Yankees for a 9-year, $324M deal, reports MLB Network insider and avid tweeter, Jon Heyman. That’s a cool $36M a year. Mark Feinsand reports that this deal has broken the record for biggest guaranteed deal.
Gerrit Cole’s deal with the Yankees (9 years/$324M) establishes new records for both the biggest guaranteed deal and AAV ($36M/year) for a pitcher. Both were set yesterday by Stephen Strasburg’s 7-year, $245M deal with the Nationals ($35M/year).— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) December 11, 2019
The 29-year old had a 20 win season last year with Houston, spitting a 2.50 ERA and 326 strikeouts with a nearly pristine 0.90 WHIP. Finishing second place in the AL Cy Young race last season, Cole was more than expected to double the $13.5M he made with Houston that very same year.
The Yankees ousted both the Dodgers and Angels in pursuit of Cole, the latter appearing to be the front runner for All-Star when the Yankees refused to offer more than a seven year deal. New York is reportedly shopping J.A. Happ to help a combination effort of relieving payroll burden, tax, unneeded anxiety, and the amount of people riding the 4 Train. The 37-year old is owed $17M next season and a $17M option for 2021. That option only vests if Happ makes it to 27 or 165 innings in 2020.
Things have seemingly come full circle for Cole, who was initially drafted by the Yankees out of high school before instead honoring his commitment to UCLA. And for a team that finished last year’s 103-win season without a championship, the first time they’ve fallen short in a decade, this is the perfect time for the 6-foot-4 phenom to assume his pinstripes. He was 4-1 with a 1.72 ERA and 47 strikeouts over 36 2/3 postseason innings, a dependability that a team who is as unpredictable in October as the Yankees could use.
Cole’s contract also includes a no trade clause, because Scott Boras is not playing any games here.
In other news, a statistic that breaks all constrains of math and physics is going to need to be invented as a way to calculate the Yankees’ new luxury tax.