Yankees sign free agent Gerrit Cole to nine-year deal, multiple reports say

The Yankees have splurged on the top free agent available this offseason: Gerrit Cole.

New York on Tuesday night agreed to a nine-year, $324 million deal with the ace right-hander, as first reported by Jon Heyman and later confirmed by others. Ken Rosenthal reported there a player option after the fifth year of Cole’s contract.

Cole, the 2019 Cy Young runner-up, just turned 29 and will presumably spend the remainder of his career (or close to it) in pinstripes. He is the biggest name starting pitcher acquisition for the Yankees since they signed C.C. Sabathia more than a decade ago, and a signal of intent from a team to this point unable to get over the hump with its current core.

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The Angels were thought to be one of the main bidders for Cole and will now need to turn their attention elsewhere. Similarly coveted Stephen Strasburg re-signed with the Nationals earlier this week, further depleting the top-end pitching market. The Dodgers are also reportedly on the hunt for rotation help.

Cole carries a 3.22 career ERA and has gotten better in his late-20s, striking out more than 12 batters per nine innings over his past two campaigns.

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