WOW: Yankees Reportedly Sign Gerrit Cole To Historic 9-Year, $324 Million Contract (UPDATES)

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WOW: Yankees Reportedly Sign Gerrit Cole To Historic 9-Year, $324 Million Contract (UPDATES)

Chicago Cubs

Wow. Just wow.

This is one massive deal:

From the outset of the offseason, almost everyone picked the Los Angeles Angels as the favorite to land Gerrit Cole – possibly one of the most attractive free agent pitchers in the history of MLB – but the Yankees kept on telling us they weren’t going to let this one get away and they sure didn’t.

Cole is signing a record-breaking, almost hilariously enormous 9-year, $324M deal, putting him right up there with the largest contracts of all-time, pitcher or otherwise (indeed, only Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, and Giancarlo Stanton got more).

And at $36M annually, Cole has tied the record for highest average annual value in a deal. That’s just nuts.

With an average annual value that high – even for a pitcher as good as Cole – it’s difficult not to think about those rumors of the Luxury Tax being dramatically increased or even eliminated in the next CBA.

As for the impact, well, there’s potentially a lot.

The Angels, most notably, may soon turn their attention to Anthony Rendon, as they’ve seemingly been signaling all day. They still have a ton of money to spend and a desire to spend it, not to mention the fact that they opened up a hole at third base with a dollar-saving trade of Zack Cozart to the Giants this afternoon. Of course, the Dodgers were also reportedly keen on signing one of the big three free agents (Rendon, Cole, Stephen Strasburg), so with two of them off the table, the heat on Rendon could tick up.

The Angels have also been connected to Red Sox pitcher David Price, but it’s not exactly clear where those rumors are heading yet.

Relatedly, the Dodgers could soon turn their attention to Madison Bumgarner, as Ken Rosenthal reports, who’s been a top target for several teams (White Sox, Twins, a number of others), after Stephen Strasburg and Zack Wheeler signed earlier this winter.

Ultimately, though, this deal *will* kick a lot into motion. Gerrit Cole was always going to get massive dollars from one of the markets biggest spenders and each of his realistic suitors were likely waiting to coordinate their other moves around this decision. Now that it’s done, things can move quickly. Fortunately for the Cubs, who are still awaiting the results of Kris Bryant’s grievance, the decisions of Anthony Rendon and Josh Donaldson may be of greater importance and have yet to be completed.

Then again … the Angels and Dodgers may want to push that leftover Cole cash somewhere fast, and both have been connected to Rendon. Stay tuned.

UPDATE: Additional details, including an opt-out after 2024 (five years into the deal), a no-trade clause, and no deferrals:

What a contract.



Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami is the butler to a wealthy werewolf off the coast of Wales and a writer at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter at @Michael_Cerami