As we all have assumed all offseason the New York Yankees seem like they are entirely in on the Gerrit Cole train and will pay whatever it takes to get him.
A report coming out of twitter today as ESPN’s Jeff Passan says “The New York Yankees have made signing Right-Handed pitcher Gerrit Cole their top priority and have ownership-level approval to offer him a record deal.”
This is huge news for the Yankees, Major League Baseball, and the free agency market. The largest contract ever signed by a pitcher was by Red Sox starter David Price, where he received 217 Million Dollars over seven years. We have to assume here that cole will annihilate this record, as he had arguably one of the best single season pitching performances in recent memory.
In 2019, Cole’s stats were the following: 212.1 IP, 2.50 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 2.64 FIP, 2.48 xFIP, 2.62 SIERA, 2.11 pCRA, 213 pCRA+, .184 xBA, .317 xSLG, .246 wOBA, .238 xwOBA, .361 xwOBACON, 35.5 Hard Hit%, 39.9 K%, 5.9 BB%, 1.23 HR/9, 13.82 K/9, .275 BABIP, 7.4 fWAR.
To summarize all of those statistics, Cole did not let people on base, didn’t allow very much hard contact, and had an absurd K%. He tallied a 7.4 fWAR, which according to Fangraphs should value a grand total of 59.4 Million Dollars (1 Win = 7.7 Mil). Obviously, Cole will not be receiving this type of money, but it goes to show how valuable he was during the regular season. For the Yankees, this would set them up with a potential rotation (assuming Domingo German is not suspended) of:
1. Gerrit Cole
2. Luis Severino
3. James Paxton
4. Masahiro Tanaka
5. Domingo German
That would give the Yankees a top five 1-3 in the MLB, and give the Yankees arguably a top five rotation in all of baseball.
A reasonable projected salary for cole would hover around 31 Million Annually, for about eight years. This would make the total salary at eightears, $248 million. The reason why this is such huge news coming from Passan, is that the Yankees have been hesitant to make huge pushes at expensive players since they gave Jacoby Ellsbury that horrendous contract, that the Yankees are still potentially be paying off this season.
Not only would this benifit the Yankees, because they would be adding a potential top-off the line starter, it would also make the American League juggernaut Houston Astros weaker. A potential Astros rotation without Cole (Assuming they do not resign LHP Wade Miley) next season would be:
- Justin Verlander
- Zack Grenkie
- Lance McCullers
- Jose Uriquidy
- Frambler Valdez
Although this rotation is not bad by any means, the Astros would be getting significantly worse. This would make the Yankees the clear favorites to finally come out of the American League, as well as possibly winning it all.
The New York Yankees meeting with Gerrit Cole reportedly went well, as the two parties spent over four hours discussing the intangibles of being a Yankees; however money was reportedly not mentioned. Per Passan on twitter once again, the Yankees have made it abundantly clear that the money will be there, as the hope the California native Cole has no west coast bias.
At this point, all we can do is wait for Cole to make a decision, and enjoy this spontaneously eventful offseason.