Cole on $324M, 9-year deal with Yankees: ‘It was my dream’
NEW YORK (AP) >> Gerrit Cole brought along a sign for the news conference to announce his signing with the New York Yankees: a crinkled poster board that read “Yankee Fan Today Tomorrow Forever.”
Then 11, Cole was caught on camera holding up that placard in the seats at the 2001 World Series in Phoenix, either before Game 6 or 7. The lettering of the tape he used has faded from blue to tan during years on the wall of his room and then in a closet.
Cole spurned the Yankees when they drafted him 28th overall in 2008, choosing to enroll at UCLA. He signed with Pittsburgh three years later after he was selected first overall. Now as a free agent, he finally was fitted for pinstripes, agreeing to a record $324 million, nine-year contract.
“It was my dream. I had a second opportunity to chase it,” he said.
Cole put on a No. 45 jersey, the number that had belonged to first baseman Luke Voit. The 29-year-old right-hander’s beard was newly shorn to
comply with Yankees team rules.
“He cleans up nice, doesn’t he?” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.
Cole had been known for a scruffy look. The Yankees’ barber went to Cole’s hotel room Wednesday morning to apply a shave.
“I’ve experienced razor burn now for the first time,” he said.
Among the gifts the Yankees used to recruit Cole were bottles of 2004 and 2005 Masseto, a Tuscan wine of Merlot grapes. Cole couldn’t figure out how New York knew it was his favorite until he remembered he had mentioned it once to Lou Cucuzza Jr., the Yankees’ director of clubhouse operations.
Cole’s deal is the largest for a pitcher in both its total and its average annual value of $36 million. New York hopes Cole will lead a young corp that includes Aaron Judge, Gary Sánchez and Gleyber Torres to the Yankees’ first title since 2009.
“We need to win some world championships,” owner Hal Steinbrenner said. “Plural.”
Boone said he was “blown away” by “his passion for what he does, his ability to articulate that passion.”
New York opened with an eight-year offer and went to a ninth season to differentiate the Yankees from other perceived suitors, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Angels. It appears to be the longest contract for a pitcher since Wayne Garland’s $2.3 million, 10year deal with Cleveland before the 1977 season.
Cole was 20-5 with an AL-leading 2.50 ERA and a major league-leading 326 strikeouts for Houston last season.
His wife, Amy, the sister of San Francisco shortstop Brandon Crawford, watched the news conference from the dais.
New York forfeited its second- and fifth-highest draft picks, roughly No. 62 and No. 164 overall overall. Houston gets an extra pick as compensation, approximately No. 74.
To clear a roster spot, the Yankees designated righthander Chance Adams for assignment.
“I thought the defense played really well too,” Dzikas said. I thought the defense did a great job of really rattling them, getting on shooters, making them take some tough shots.”
The Brothers were just 2-of-7 shooting in the opening quarter, a 19-5 run by the Plainsmen who never looked back.
Shenendehowa junior guard Andrew Martin acknowledged how difficult it is to play against the Shenendehowa 3-2 zone as well as having his second straight stellar night from the field, a game-high 18 points.
“I had a chat with coach before our last game and he really helped me with my mindset coming into each game, being better prepared and stuff like that helped a lot,” Andrew Martin said.
That sage advice led to a 27-point outing against Albany last week and 18 on Tuesday night.
Martin’s points were also the by-product of the Plainsmen’s commitment to not only sharing the ball, but passing it at an unprecedented amount with speed and accuracy.
“In the off-season people pay $40 an hour to learn how to Euro step and “Make the move,” no one wants to play 40 bucks an hour to pass the ball,” Dzikas said. “We spent a lot of time, off-season passing the ball, moving the ball, different types of passes
Shenendehowa junior Andrew Martin passes the ball to his right, a staple of the Plainsmen, during Tuesday’s Suburban Council showdown in the High School East gym. get right down to the fundamentals, thumbs down, backwards spin.
“One thing we would tell the kids that you’re really good shooters but every great shooting team has one thing in common – they’re a great passage team. It takes a good pass to make for a good shot.”
Often in the center of the pass-motion offense was six-foot three-inch big man, Luke Lavery, turning the ball back from near the paint or along the baseline back out to the perimeter.
“I love how we’re looking, we’re really sharing the ball and we’re playing very well as a team this early on, which is a great sign,” Luke Lavery said. “
“It’s great to see because if one guy is missing from the rotation or if one team focuses on one guy, it doesn’t really matter because we have four or five more guys that can really put up points.”
Whether on social media courtesy of the Shen Athletic
Department or in-person, the Plainsmen make it look easy.
“I mean, we’ve been with each other for years and years, so it’s not just what we’ve been doing for this year,” Lavery said. “This has been going on for the past like five years. This core has been with each other for a long time, so it just grows and grows as the years go on.”
Lucas Seyoum dropped in 12 points with Lavery following with 11 and Devin Dzikas adding 10 more on the night.
“This was great because it was one of his best games,” Dzikas said about Lavery. “It’s great because he’s a good player, he loves playing, he’s a gym rat and he’s got some good goals in basketball and he really wants to work hard to achieve those.”
Colby Dodson led the Brothers with a team-high 12 points.
SHENENDEHOWA 62, CBA 40 CBA (40) Skorupski Cole 2-0-6, Tyler Grimes 2-1-5, Robby Hicks 2-0-5, Hagen Foley 3-0-8, Colby Dodson 3-3-12, Jordan Hubbard 1-0-2, Dan Kelly 1-0-2. Totals: 14-4-40. SHEN (62) Andrew Martin 7-0-18, Luke Lavery 5-0-11, Lucas Seyoum 5-0-12, Devin Dzikas 2-4-10, Mason Courtney 1-0-3, Jake Reinisch 2-1-5, Will Shea 1-0-3, CBA515128–40 SHEN 19 19 11 13 – 62 Three-pointers: CBA – Cole 2, Hicks, Foley 2, Dodson 3. SHEN – 4, Lavery, Seyoum, Dzikas 2, Courtney, Shea.
New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone, left, and pitcher Gerrit Cole hold up a jersey as Cole is introduced as the baseball club’s newest player during a media availability, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019 in New York. The pitcher agreed to a 9-year, $324 million contract.
Gerrit Cole is introduced as the newest New York Yankees player during a baseball media availability, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019 in New York. The pitcher agreed to a 9-year $324 million contract.
Video screens display a recent photo of Gerrit Cole before he is introduced as the newest New York Yankees player during a baseball media availability, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019 in New York. The pitcher agreed to a 9-year, $324 million contract.