Yankees Rumors: Gerrit Cole Contract Could Reach 10 Years, $360M with Opt-Out

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistDecember 18, 2019

Gerrit Cole poses at Yankee Stadium as the newest New York Yankees player is introduced 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

New York Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole already signed a head-turning deal, but he reportedly has the opportunity to make even more money before his tenure with the Bronx Bombers comes to an end.

According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, Cole can opt out of his nine-year deal after the fifth season. That would give the Yankees the chance to void the opt-out and extend the contract to 10 years with one more season at $36 million. 

That would increase the total value of the deal to 10 years and $360 million.

Jon Heyman of MLB Network originally reported the Yankees signed Cole to a nine-year contract worth $324 million with a $36 million annual average.

It is a significant amount of money, but it has been a long-time coming for Cole to wear pinstripes. The Yankees selected him in the 2008 draft, but he chose to play collegiately at UCLA instead.

He eventually joined the Pittsburgh Pirates three years later as the No. 1 overall pick.

"It was my dream," the right-hander said of pitching for the Yankees, per ESPN.com. "I had a second opportunity to chase it."

If New York was going to commit more than $300 million to a single player, Cole fits the bill. The three-time All-Star is only 29 years old and is coming off two straight seasons of dominance on the Houston Astros.

He helped lead Houston to the World Series last year with a league-leading 2.50 ERA, 0.89 WHIP and 326 strikeouts in 212.1 innings. He was nearly as impressive in 2018 with a 2.88 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 276 strikeouts in 200.1 innings.

Cole now turns his attention to helping the Yankees win their first Fall Classic since 2009, which is an eternity for the proud franchise with 27 rings.