Gerrit Cole Expected To Set Record Contract, Yankees Make Him Top Priority
There may be a new record-setting deal in the MLB with right-hander Gerrit Cole at the center of it all. The 29-year old, who had a fantastic 2019 season with the Houston Astros, has got the attention of the New York Yankees who have made this a clear offseason priority and have ownership-level approval to offer Cole a huge deal.
New York is preparing for a bidding war with the Los Angeles Angels which executives expect to go well beyond $250 million, setting Cole up to smash David Price‘s $217 million contract for a pitcher.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have shown interest in Cole, although other priorities lie with potential bids for right-hander Stephen Strasburg and third basemen Anthony Rendon.
Cole’s agent, Scott Boras, has yet to solicit offers, but with interest coming from multiple teams, the deal’s timeline will most likely be expedited.
The Yankees have shown a shift in the willingness to partake in big-money free-agent signings. In January 2014, free agent pitcher Masahiro Tanaka saw a $175 million contract and in 2017, outfielder Giancarlo Stanton signed one worth $295 million. The Yankees will have their hands full as a number of young stars will see escalating salaries, those including outfielder Aaron Judge, catcher Gary Sanchez, and infielder Gleyber Torres.
Cole is no stranger to the Yankees. In 2008, New York chose Cole 28th overall in the draft, but he went to UCLA instead. Three years later, he went number one overall to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Cole’s 2018 season with the Astros saw a 15-5 record with a 2.88 ERA. This year proved even better, posting a 20-5 record with a 2.50 ERA. He finished second to teammate Justin Verlander in American League Cy Young voting.
Although the Yankees have prioritized signing Cole, they have also said they will be pursuing the reigning World Series MVP Strasburg who opted out of the four years and $100 million left on his contract with the Nationals.
The Yankees would prove to be a powerhouse in the American League East by adding Cole to their roster. And for Cole, it seems a very large payday is bound to make it his way.
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