That didn't take long. For a couple weeks now speculation has been that free agent pitcher Gerrit Cole was being pursued feverishly by the New York Yankees. After Steven Strasberg re-signed with the Nationals for nearly $250 million, it seemed a foregone conclusion Cole would command much more. On Wednesday, it has been widely widely reported that Cole has agreed to a record deal with the Yanks for nine years and $324 million.
Strasberg got $35 million per year over seven years. Cole got $36 million over nine.
It's not surprising but still disappointing for Astros fans who had hoped there would be a shot to sign Cole even with a high price tag and a currently bloated payroll. Rumors had even floated that Carlos Correa might be offloaded to make a run at Cole. Unfortunately, the costs was clearly too high.
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Certainly, it is rough that the Astros lose their second (arguably first) starting pitcher and the runner up to Justin Verlander in the Cy Young race this season. But to lose him to a division rival like the Yankees is doubly tough. It leaves them with a hole in their starting lineup to go with potential needs in the bullpen and a still vacant starting catcher spot.
Still, there is a solid argument to be made that the Astros shouldn't sink that much money into a single player, especially one who only plays every five days. Regardless, it stings.
Cole, who was the most dominant pitcher in baseball for most of the season, gets the biggest payday in MLB history and the Yankees only get stronger. It's win-win for the Bronx Bombers, lose-lose for the 'Stros.