Alex Kielar | December 11th, 2019
Gerrit Cole was drafted first overall by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2011 MLB Draft out of UCLA. He made his debut in 2013 with the Pirates, where he pitched for five seasons, before being traded to the Houston Astros in the offseason following the 2017 season. He has been one of the best pitchers in the game the last two seasons and had his best season to date this past year.
Gerrit Cole is now the highest-paid pitcher in MLB history after agreeing to a 9-yr/$324 million contract with the New York Yankees late Tuesday night. The contract includes a no-trade clause, no deferred money, and an opt-out after year five. The Yankees actually drafted Cole out of High School in 2008 (28th overall), but he chose to go to college at UCLA. Cashman and the Yankees finally bring Cole to the Bronx 11 years later. Jon Heyman, Jeff Passan, and Joel Sherman were all over the story and tweeted the news out minutes apart.
Cole is only 29 and has finished top five in Cy Young voting three times, including finishing runner-up to his Astros teammate Justin Verlander last season. He led the league in strikeouts (326), ERA+ (185), and FIP (2.64) last year and has been very durable the last three seasons, throwing over 200 innings in each of them. He also gave up his lowest BABIP (.275) and had his highest K/BB rate (6.79) of his career.
Cole is now easily the bonafide ace of the Yankees’ staff and skyrockets their chances at contending for a World Series. He will give them nine years of plus-plus pitching and solidify the rotation for years to come.
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Main Credit Image: Embed from Getty Images