The Yankees have landed the biggest name on this year's free agency market, and added a proven ace to their pitching staff.
SNY's Andy Martino has confirmed the Yankees have agreed to a nine-year, $324 million deal with right-hander Gerrit Cole, which immediately increases their odds to win their first World Series since 2009. The deal was first reported by MLB Network's Jon Heyman.
Cole's market was heating up after Stephen Strasburg signed a seven-year $245 million deal to return to the Nationals on the first day of Winter Meetings. Martino had reported earlier Tuesday that the Yankees were looking to get the Cole deal done immediately, and that's exactly what happened.
Cole's deal broke Strasburg's record-setting deal, and at $324 million is the largest contract issued to starting pitcher in MLB history.
Cole, a 29-year-old native of Newport Beach, Calif., finished second in Cy Young voting last season. He went 20-5 with a 2.50 ERA, a whopping 326 strikeouts, and a WHIP of just .0895, earning his third All-Star appearance.
Over his seven-year career, the power pitcher has compiled a 94-52 record with a career 3.22 ERA. Cole was originally drafted by the Yankees in 2008 out of high school (the 28th overall pick), but he elected to attend UCLA rather than join the Bombers. Three years later, the Pirates made him the number one overall pick in 2011.
He spent the past two seasons with the Astros, pitching to a 2.68 combined ERA with 35 wins.
Now the Yankees have finally landed Cole, who will head a pitching rotation that already is home to the likes of James Paxton, Luis Severino, and Masahiro Tanaka.