Finally! At long last, after swinging and missing in two previous occasions, Brian Cashman caught his “white whale,” signing free agent ace Gerrit Cole to a record nine year, $324 million deal late Tuesday night.
Thanks to Hal Steinbrenner, former Yankee great Andy Pettitte, and of course, the money on the table, the right-hander will realize his childhood dream of pitching for the Bronx Bombers.
The Yankees reportedly beat the two Los Angeles teams, the Dodgers and the Angels, in the race for Cole’s services. Now, they will enter the 2020 season with the righty in front of the rotation, followed by the formidable trio of Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, and James Paxton in some order.
After the bombshell news, reported by Jon Heyman, the Twitter world exploded and reactions were all over the place. Here are some of them:
Breaking: Gerrit Cole to Yankees. 9 years. 36M per. 324M total.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 11, 2019
Ah, the tweet that started all. Needless to say, the Gerrit Cole contract surpassed the one that Stephen Strasburg signed just a couple of days ago in guaranteed dollars and average annual value.
Yankees usually get their man. 11 years after pulling off an upset to land Californian CC Sabathia, they got Californian Gerrit Cole for almost exactly double the price: 324M to 161M— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 11, 2019
We all remember the CC Sabathia deal very fondly. Isn’t it a beautiful coincidence that both are Californian and were expected to sign somewhere else? Sabathia led the Yankees to a championship in the first year of his deal, let’s hope Cole does exactly the same.
Now that Cole is a Yankee, they should patent their playbook for pursuit of a free agent. Fly to his doorstep. Bring one of his idols (Pettitte). Bring new school pitching coach (Blake). Discuss power of Yankee tradition & trajectory of career in NY. Eat dinner. Order dessert.— Jack Curry (@JackCurryYES) December 11, 2019
The Yankees did make their homework in pursuing Cole. They made sure to hit the right buttons at the most opportunistic time. There is no greater challenge, and no better incentive, than succeeding in pinstripes.
If Cole exercises his opt out from the #Yankees after five years, he would walk away from about $145M, a source tells The Athletic.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 11, 2019
This is important to note. The Cole deal comes with an opt-out contract after the fifth season, in 2024. If he chose to walk away at that time, he would be leaving $145 million on the table. That’s a lot, but if he, when the time comes, considers hitting free agency, it will be because he has succeeded in those five years.
Cole stressed to his camp that winning a championship was his priority. He loves Orange County, but a friend told him, “When your primary goal is to win a championship, it doesn’t matter where you sleep.” #Yankees— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) December 11, 2019
God bless you, Cole’s friend. Wherever you are. You are a wise person.
It finally happened. Cole’s the one on the right.
What’s Happening? YANKS GET THEIR MAN. AND NOW HAVE WHAT IT TAKES ! We get to the World Series next year. 2020.! See you soon Gerrit. Nice Job, Hal and Hank, Brian The Ca$h Man. We got a baaaaaaaaad Man. Bad with 9a’s bro.— Reggie Jackson (@mroctober) December 11, 2019
A “baaaaaaaaad” man, he is!
Cole’s deal includes a full no-trade clause, per source.— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) December 11, 2019
Your standard no-trade clause. Another important detail to keep in mind for the future.
In the end, after all the talk about geography and culture and such, Cole's free agency came down to what free agent signings come down to 99% of the time: money. Which is exactly as it should be. What gets comical are the suggestions that wasn't or isn't what was No. 1 all along— Erik Boland (@eboland11) December 11, 2019
Back to back reader emails:— Kristie Ackert (@ByKristieAckert) December 11, 2019
“The Yankees are winning the World Series now,” Followed by “too much money for too long.”
Can’t we all just get along?!? https://t.co/77mbLt5vuQ
I’m leaning towards the former statement! How about you?
So, now Yankees SP depth chart looks like:— Brendan Kuty (@BrendanKutyNJ) December 11, 2019
1. Gerrit Cole
2. Luis Severino
3. James Paxton
4. Masahiro Tanaka
5. J.A. Happ
6. Jordan Montgomery
7. Jonathan Loaisiga
8. Mike King
9. Chance Adams
10. Deivi Garcia
(Domingo German likely to start season suspended)
Now, that is deep. It is important to note that J.A. Happ is expected to be traded, but as of now, he is part of the roster and the rotation depth chart. It is a strong, top-heavy group with all kinds of pieces.
Now, some of the players’ reactions:
This is absolutely hilarious! Go Sevy! You two will probably be fighting for Cy Young awards for the next decade.
A round of applause, indeed!
— Aaron Judge (@TheJudge44) December 11, 2019
I fully recommend seeing some of your awesome, creative GIFs.