How Much Did the Yankees Pay for Cole?

Cole’s signing with the Yankees was a record-setting deal. Here’s a look at how much Cole will be paid by the Yankees, and how that affects the team’s budget.

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Introduction

The Yankees paid Cole $324 million over seven years, an average of $46 million per year. That is the most money ever given to a pitcher in baseball history. It tops the previous record of $217 million given to David Price by the Boston Red Sox in 2015.

Cole’s Contract

The Yankees have reportedly agreed to a nine-year, $324 million contract with free-agent pitcher Gerrit Cole, according to sources familiar with the situation. Cole’s deal includes a record $36 million average annual value and a full no-trade clause. The agreement, which is pending a physical, would also set a new record for the largest contract ever given to a pitcher, surpassing the $217 million deal Nathan Eovaldi signed with the Boston Red Sox in 2019.

The Numbers

The New York Yankees and free agent pitcher Gerrit Cole have agreed to a record-setting nine-year, $324 million contract, a person familiar with the negotiations told USA TODAY Sports.

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

Cole’s average annual value of $36 million shatters the previous record for a pitcher of $34.42 set by Justin Verlander of the Houston Astros in 2013.

The Impact

In order to get Cole, the Yankees had to sign him to a record-setting contract. Cole’s nine-year, $324 million deal is the largest amount of money ever given to a pitcher in baseball history. The previous record was set by Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg, who signed a seven-year, $245 million extension with Washington last year.

The Yankees are known for their deep pockets, and they opened them up for Cole. The contract includes a $36 million signing bonus, which is the third-largest ever given to a pitcher. Cole will make $36 million in each of the first three years of his deal. He will then earn $29 million in each of the next three seasons, and $24 million in both 2028 and 2029.

The total value of Cole’s contract is $324 million, which eclipses Strasburg’s previous record by $79 million. In fact, Cole’s deal is worth more than the next two largest contracts given to pitchers combined. Justin Verlander’s seven-year, $206 million extension with the Astros is second on the list, while Zack Greinke’s six-year, $206.5 million deal with the Diamondbacks is third.

Cole’s Career

The Yankees have a long and storied history of signing superstar pitchers, and they did it again this offseason when they inked Gerrit Cole to a nine-year, $324 million deal. Cole was coming off a career year in 2019, in which he went 20-5 with a 2.50 ERA and an MLB-leading 276 strikeouts. He was also a key member of the Houston Astros’ World Series-winning team in 2017.

The Stats

In his first season with the Yankees, Cole pitched to a record of 20-5 with an ERA of 2.50. He led the American League in strikeouts with a total of 251, and he also pitched 362⅓ innings, which was the fourth-most in the AL.

The Awards

Cole has been an All-Star four times in his career, first in 2010 then again in 2012-14. He won the Silver Slugger Award in 2011 and ’13. In 2014, he finished second in the AL Cy Young voting to Corey Kluber and was third in ’12 behind winner David Price and Justin Verlander.

Conclusion

The Yankees have signed pitcher Gerrit Cole to a nine-year, $324 million contract, making him the highest-paid pitcher in baseball history. The deal includes a record $36 million signing bonus and a full no-trade clause. Cole will earn an annual salary of $36 million, which is also a record for pitchers.

The Yankees’ payroll for 2020 is now projected to be over $250 million, which would be the highest in MLB history. The team’s luxury tax bill is also expected to exceed $50 million.

With Cole in the fold, the Yankees’ starting rotation now includes five of the top 25 pitchers in baseball according to FanGraphs WAR: Cole (6th), Luis Severino (11th), Masahiro Tanaka (14th),James Paxton (16th), and J.A. Happ (25th).

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