June 15, 2021

Yankees Break the Bank to Land Gerrit Cole (FanGraphs)

Last winter, as Manny Machado and Bryce Harper became the first free agents to reach the $300 million plateau, the Yankees kept their powder dry, deciding both that they had enough depth at those players’ respective positions and enough money spent beyond the Competitive Balance Tax threshold. Despite a considerably more glaring need in their rotation, they bypassed the market’s top free agent pitcher, Patrick Corbin, as well, unwilling to go to a sixth year to secure his services, which ended up selling for $140 million to the Nationals. On Tuesday, the Yankees spent the money they had been squirreling away, agreeing to a nine-year, $324 million contract with 29-year-old righty Gerrit Cole.

The Yankees reportedly outbid the Dodgers, Angels, and multiple mystery teams (possibly the Astros and Giants) for Cole, a pitcher whom they have coveted since selecting him in the first round of the 2008 draft (28th overall), only to lose out to his commitment to attend UCLA. Three year later, he was the first overall pick by the Pirates, for whom he pitched from 2013-17 and helped to two Wild Card berths, before being traded to the Astros for four players in January 2018, just…

Read “Yankees Break the Bank to Land Gerrit Cole” at FanGraphs