Gerrit Cole on $324M, 9-year deal with Yankees: ‘It was my dream’

  • New York Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole, center, holds a sign he used as a young Yankees fan as he is introduced, Wednesday in New York. He is joined by team owner Hal Steinbrenner, left, and his wife, Amy Cole. AP

  • 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. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan) Mark Lennihan

  • New York Yankees' Gerrit Cole, center, joined by his wife Amy, left, and agent Scott Boras, 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. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan) Mark Lennihan

  • New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone, left, gestures as pitcher Gerrit Cole tries on his jersey as Cole is introduced as the baseball club's newest player during a media availability, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019 in New York. Cole agreed to a 9-year, 324 million contract with the team. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan) Mark Lennihan

  • Pitcher Gerrit Cole talks with his wife Amy as he is introduced as the New York Yankees newest player during a baseball media availability, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019 in New York. The pitcher agreed to a 9-year, 324 million contract. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan) Mark Lennihan

  • A video screen displays 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. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan) Mark Lennihan

  • 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. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan) Mark Lennihan

  • 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. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan) Mark Lennihan

  • Gerrit Cole, left, and his agent Scott Boras gesture as 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. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan) Mark Lennihan

Associated Press
Published: 12/18/2019 9:17:48 PM
Modified: 12/18/2019 9:17:39 PM

NEW YORK — 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 corps 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, 10-year 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 right-hander Chance Adams for assignment.


E-Edition & Local Ads


Weather


athol forecast

Most Popular


Suhoski to chair statewide organization

Photo: Falling water

Social Media




Athol Daily News

14 Hope Street,
Greenfield, MA 01302-1367
Telephone: (413) 772-0261
FAX (413) 772-2906

 

Copyright © 2020 by Newspapers of Massachusetts, Inc.