By: Billy Lewis
As the old saying goes, “Third times a charm.” For the New York Yankees, this was exactly the case with Gerrit Cole. The Yankees originally had Cole in their sights with the 2008 draft. The Yankees drafted Cole with the 28th pick in 2008. Cole decided to attend UCLA.
Attending UCLA was a great choice for Cole, as he was drafted with the first overall pick by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2011. Cole pitched his first five seasons (2013-2017) in Pittsburgh. Before the 2018 season, Cole was traded to the Houston Astros.
Of course, that trade was the second time Brian Cashman tried to acquire Cole. The Yankees were not able to meet the Pirates asking price for the young ace, and thus Cole went to Houston. Cole spent the past two seasons in Houston, before becoming the marquee free agent this offseason.
The Yankees made sure to make the third time the charm. Just before midnight eastern time, Jeff Passan reported that Cole and the Yankees reached an agreement.
BREAKING: Righ-hander Gerrit Cole is in agreement on a deal with the New York Yankees, sources tell ESPN.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 11, 2019
The Yankees and Cole agreed to a 9 year/$324 million deal. The deal will include a no-trade clause and an opt-out after the fifth year.
Entering 2020 the Yankees should surely be the favorite to win the World Series. They won 103 games in 2019 though pitching was their question mark. Adding one of the best pitchers from last season erases that question mark.
At this point, their rotation in 2020 should look like:
- Gerrit Cole
- Luis Severino
- James Paxton
- Masahiro Tanaka
- Jordan Montgomery
Cole becomes the bonafide ace, and then Severino, Paxton, and Tanaka have all shown ace-like stuff in the past. 2019 was an injury-plagued season for Severino, but Cole and Severino have the potential to become the best one-two punch in baseball.