Ger­rit Cole, Yan­kees strike record $324M, 9-year deal

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - SPORTS - By Ron­ald Blum AP Base­ball Writer

SAN DIEGO (AP) >> Ger­rit Cole quickly ended Stephen Stras­burg’s ten­ure as base­ball’s high­est-paid pitcher.

Cole agreed to a $324 mil­lion, nine-year con­tract with the New York Yan­kees on Tues­day night, a per­son fa­mil­iar with the agree­ment told The As­so­ci­ated Press.

The per­son spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause the agree­ment had not been an­nounced.

Cole’s deal es­tab­lished marks for pitch­ers in to­tal dol­lars, top­ping the $245 mil­lion, seven-year con­tract Stephen Stras­burg fi­nal­ized a day ear­lier to re­main with the World Se­ries cham­pion Washington Na­tion­als.

Its $36 mil­lion av­er­age is a record for any player, beat­ing the $35.5 mil­lion in out­fielder Mike Trout’s $426.5 mil­lion, 12-year deal with the Los An­ge­les An­gels that started last sea­son. Cole gets an even $36

mil­lion an­nu­ally and can opt out af­ter the 2024 sea­son. He also has a full no­trade pro­vi­sion.

Af­ter fi­nal­iz­ing the agree­ment for 31-year-old Stras­burg, agent Scott Bo­ras pre­dicted he would go even high for Cole, a 29-year-old right-han­der.

Cole was base­ball’s most dom­i­nant pitcher for much of 2019 and helped the Hous­ton As­tros come within one win of their second World Se­ries ti­tle in three sea­sons.

“Ob­vi­ously, when you are talk­ing about a player at the level of Ger­rit Cole, in a lot of ways that’s a gamechang­ing type tal­ent,” Yan­kees man­ager Aaron Boone said ear­lier in the day. “This is a guy that’s re­ally hun­gry, re­ally driven.”

Yan­kees gen­eral man­ager Cash­man vis­ited Cole and wife Amy in Cal­i­for­nia last week, bring­ing along Boone, new pitch­ing coach Matt Blake and spe­cial ad­viser Andy Pet­titte.

Af­ter help­ing Hous­ton beat the Yan­kees in a sixgame AL Cham­pi­onship Se­ries, Cole joins a ro­ta­tion that in­cludes Luis Sev­erino, Masahiro Tanaka, James Pax­ton and J.A. Happ or Domingo Germán, who may be suspended at the sea­son’s start un­der base­ball’s do­mes­tic vi­o­lence pol­icy.

In other moves on the second day of the win­ter meet­ings:

— Short­stop Didi Gre­go­rius is join­ing man­ager Joe Gi­rardi in Philadel­phia, agree­ing with the Phillies on a $14 mil­lion, one-year con­tract, a per­son fa­mil­iar with the deal told the AP. That per­son also spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause the agree­ment, first re­ported by the New York Post, had not been an­nounced.

— San Fran­cisco ac­quired in­fielder Zack Cozart and in­field prospect Will Wilson from the An­gels for a player to be named or cash, tak­ing on Cozart’s salary of nearly $12.7 mil­lion next year.

— Right-han­der Kevin Gaus­man agreed to a $9 mil­lion, one-year con­tract with the Gi­ants, eight days af­ter Cincin­nati al­lowed him to be­come a free agent.

— Out­fielder Adam Jones and the Orix Buf­faloes of Ja­pan’s Pa­cific League agreed to an $8 mil­lion, two-year con­tract.

— Min­nesota Twins fi­nal­ized a $20 mil­lion, two-year con­tract with suspended pitcher Michael Pineda and a $4.25 mil­lion, one-year deal with catcher Alex Avila.


FILE - In this Oct. 15, 2019, file photo, Hous­ton As­tros start­ing pitcher Ger­rit Cole (45) de­liv­ers against the New York Yan­kees dur­ing the first in­ning of Game 3 of base­ball’s Amer­i­can League Cham­pi­onship Se­ries, in New York.

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