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Report: Gerrit Cole agrees to record-breaking nine-year, $324 million deal with Yankees

Pitcher opts to go to New York over Angels, Dodgers.

Houston Astros starting pitcher Gerrit Cole pitches during the sixth inning against the Washington Nationals in game five of the 2019 World Series at Nationals Park. Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees and SP Gerrit Cole have agreed to a record nine-year, $324 million contract, per Jon Heyman.

The Yankees have landed the prized free agent of this offseason in Cole, who just had an insane season to help lead the Houston Astros to the World Series. The contract is worth $36 million per season, which is the highest salary for a pitcher in MLB history. For comparison, the Nationals just signed SP Stephen Strasburg to a seven-year, $245 million deal a few days ago, which had broken the previous record.

There’s also a no-trade clause, per Mark Feinsand, so Cole will be in pinstripes until he’s in his late 30’s. This is a risky deal for Brian Cashman and the Yankees, but a necessary one after losing in the ALCS to the Astros for the second time in three seasons. Cole should bring stability to the top of the rotation and be the ace the Bronx Bombers have been missing for a while now.

Let’s take a look at Cole’s stats. Last season, he finished second in AL Cy Young voting behind teammate Justin Verlander. Cole posted a league-leading 2.50 ERA and 326 strikeouts in 212.1 IP over 33 starts. He had the highest K/9 for the second consecutive season and also led the League in FIP (2.64).

Cole should lead a Yankees rotation also featuring Luis Severino, James Paxton and Masahiro Tanaka. Right now JA Happ would be the fifth starter, but chances are New York will look to add a better left-handed arm at the back-end of the rotation or hope a prospect emerges during the Spring.