Gerrit Cole Signs with Yankees

Bryan Valenti, Co-Editor-in-Chief

As the 2019 MLB season concluded, all attention turned to free agency. Full of big names, this winter’s free agency promised to be fascinating. However, one name monopolized the mouths of fans, reporters, and executives: Gerrit Cole. After all of the speculation, the 29-year-old pitcher decided to sign with the New York Yankees. First reported by MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, Cole agreed to a nine-year, $324 million contract. This massive contract is now the largest in baseball history in terms of dollars per year, at $36 million AAV (average annual value). It is also the largest contract ever for a pitcher. 

Cole has always been a dominant force on the mound, but his electric 2019 is the reason for this massive deal. The former Pittsburgh Pirate and Houston Astro posted a 2.50 earned run average, 326 strikeouts and a 13.8 strikeout-per-nine innings ratio. These numbers were good enough to lead the American League in their respective categories. Cole was also the runner-up for the Cy Young Award, although many believe he should have won it. 

Either way, the Yankees have their ace. Cole joins a rotation of Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, and either Domingo German, Jordan Montgomery, or J.A. Happ. Yankees reporter Jack Curry says, “That’s a championship rotation.” 

The Yankees introduced Cole to the fans and media on Wednesday, December 18. Notably a Yankee fan in his youth, Cole showed to the cameras a sign he made when he was 11 years old, which read in big, bold font: “YANKEE FAN TODAY TOMORROW FOREVER.” When asked about the pressure of being a Yankee, Cole said, “Pressure is a privilege.” He also added that being a Yankee was his “dream.” 

Now that the Yankees have secured the top pitcher on the market, expectations are sky-high once again. After nearly capturing a title the past few seasons, this could be the move they needed to finally get it done. 

Photo credit: Sports Illustrated