Indeed, the Evil Empire strikes again.
The New York Yankees have signed free agent starting pitcher to a 9-year, $324 million dollar contract just after midnight heading into Wednesday at the MLB Winter Meetings. While some say it was Jeff Passan striking again, I’ve seen most hat tips out to Jon Heyman who served as Scott Boras’ personal parrot all the way down until the end.
Breaking: Gerrit Cole to Yankees. 9 years. 36M per. 324M total.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 11, 2019
Passan reported last week that signing Cole was the Yankees’ top offseason priority and that Cashman had ownership-level approval to offer a record-setting deal.
“I can’t guarantee we’re going to wind up with the player,” Cashman said earlier Tuesday at the winter meetings. “I can just guarantee a championship-caliber effort on our part.”
Now, teams like the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels are left out in the cold. Moreover, they’re fighting for bread crumbs which we will cover in other articles.
With Strasburg and now Cole off the board, the sizzle has been taken out of the MLB off-season; and the biggest splash was made by the Yankees and Nationals.
Of course, it’s not a zero sum game. Those teams will likely still factor in as playoff favorites and in the case of the Yankees – they could be a World Series favorite now. However, there are still variables in play that a team that doesn’t land a marquee free agent could compete for it all. It just seems a little less likely now.