Gerrit Cole signed a lucrative new contract with the New York Yankees over the offseason as the franchise found their new ace pitcher. Cole signed a nine-year, $324 million contract with the Yankees, per Spotrac. Cole’s salary for the 2020 season initially projected to be $36 million.
This was before COVID-19 caused the MLB season to be shortened to 60 games prompting a loss of revenue from fewer contests as well as no fans in the stands. According to Spotrac, Cole’s adjusted salary for the shortened season is $13.3 million. The pitcher’s salary is expected to jump back up to $36 million in 2021 with the same projected amount annually through the end of his contract in 2028.
By comparison, Cole’s salary in a traditional season will be close to double what the pitcher made in his two years with the Astros. Cole’s salary with the Astros in 2019 was $13.5 million but this was for a full season. The pitcher will eventually make more in one season with the Yankees than his career earnings of $34.8 million in his seven seasons with the Astros and Pirates.
Cole Signed the Largest Contract Ever Given to a Pitcher
Record-breaking deals are nothing new to baseball with players ranging from Alex Rodriguez to Mike Trout jumping atop the sports leaderboard at the time they signed their contracts. Cole’s deal is significant as it is the largest contract ever signed by a pitcher, per The New York Times. Cole admitted to The New York Times that he is getting paid a “ridiculous amount of money” and understands the responsibility that comes with signing such a massive contract.
“They don’t really pay me for my opinion,” Cole noted. “They pay me for my work. And I can promise you I will always work. Everyone else is entitled to their opinions, but I’m here to be as best I can, help contribute to this clubhouse atmosphere as best I can and prepare as best I can. I’m ready to do this.”
Cole Is the Second Highest-Paid MLB Player
Cole’s new deal makes him the second highest-paid player in baseball just behind Trout’s $37.6 million salary. Both players will be making considerably less as a result of COVID-19 but will still be earning more than their peers.
Why do the Yankees have so much confidence in committing more than $300 million to Cole over the next nine years? Yankees manager Aaron Boone explained to Forbes that part of their process was getting a “peak behind the curtain about who he is.”
“We really got a peak behind the curtain about who he is, what drives him,” Boone said. “His intellect shined through but also his competitiveness, his intensity. He’s unique in a really good kind of way. We heard great things across the board about him. Then to spend time with him, it became quite obvious Gerrit is not only arguably the best pitcher in baseball but also a special person. He’s a guy we wanted.”
Cole grew up a Yankees fan and is finally able to live out his dream of wearing the famous pinstriped uniform. The pitcher is also being highly compensated to do just that.