Looks like the 2019 Winter Meetings in San Diego have just produced two of the biggest contracts in baseball history. First, the 7 year/$245M deal for Stephen Strasburg and now, Gerrit Cole has reportedly signed a 9 year deal with the Yankees for $324 Million.
Breaking: Gerrit Cole to Yankees. 9 years. 36M per. 324M total.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 11, 2019
The deal includes a full no-trade clause as well as an opt-out after the fifth season.
Gerrit Cole has an opt-out clause after the fifth year of his deal with the New York Yankees, a source tells ESPN.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 11, 2019
Of course, if he opts out, he would be leaving behind the highest average annual value in baseball history, breaking the record set by… Strasburg the day before.
Gerrit Cole and the Yankees have agreed to a record nine-year, $324 million contract, sources tell ESPN.
At the reported $36M AAV, this would be the highest average annual value of any $100M contract in MLB history. pic.twitter.com/8VVvq6ArpP
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 11, 2019
MLB super agent Scott Boras has broken convention and gotten deals done early for his top two pitching clients so far this off-season and you would have to argue that he played the teams against each other perfectly.
Enter Our Giveaway!
The Dodgers were reportedly players for Cole as they have the team and the cash to make a deal happen, but when word came out that Boras was seeking a number over $300M, it was just a race between the Yankees and Angels with the Yankees holding a major financial advantage over the hometown leverage the Angels had in their back pocket.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported that the Angels had a deal on the table for the free agent.
Gerrit Cole had huge offer from #Angels, but just south of $300 million
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) December 11, 2019
With the top two free agent pitchers off the market, Andrew Friedman and the Dodgers turn their attention to second-tier arms like Hyun-Jin Ryu and Madison Bumgarner to help fill out their rotation. Additionally, Los Angeles has been linked to pitchers on the trade market, which is more up Friedman’s alley.