The Yankees have issued $ 100 million contracts to eight players, with varying returns on these significant expenses. It’s not just a moment since we signed a nine-number deal – relatively speaking, of course – but it has been a while since we’ve really invested in a high-dollar bidding war and the reluctance is at least understandable.
The last such deal was in 2014. Offers, in fact. The Americans gave Masahiro Tanaka a seven-year, $ 155 million deal, which was actually pretty good, though not an optimal scenario – the right hander averaged 27 starts a year with a 3.75 ERA. Just over a month before Tanaka, the Yankees signed Jacoby Ellsbury to a seven-year, $ 153 million disaster agreement. Well, it was a disaster. The Americans have recently parted ways with him, eating most of the $ 26 million left in his deal.
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If the Yankees – and, perhaps equally importantly, their increasingly anxious followers – get their way, however, this series will end this offseason. There are two elites, the leading aces in the market, Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg, and the Yankees seem to be welcoming when they land one of the two.
Ken Rosenthal, author of The Athletic (and TSN alum!), Said on Tuesday that the Yankees are meeting both players this week. The title contained the word “intensify” and the first sentence had “started to accelerate” appears prominently. After a few slow offseasons, this is exciting for a December column.
Even the official MLB Twitter account is being pumped.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that a meeting with Cole happens on Tuesday and a meeting with Strasbourg on Wednesday.
As Sherman pointed out in his column, the fact that the Yankees travel to meet with right-handers shows a level of investment they have not shown recently with free agents. Last year, Patrick Corbin, who signed a $ 140 million deal with the Nationals and helped his new team to the 2019 World Series title, had to travel to Yankee Stadium to meet with the Bronx bosses.
It’s been a decade since the Yankees achieved what Corbin and his compatriots did with the Nationals in October, and that’s too long for the franchise with the most World Series titles in baseball history. The Yankees, as the Yankees hunters pulled everywhere, didn’t even make the final round in the 2010s, the first decade without an appearance since the 1910s.
So yes, there is a sense of urgency.
Cole seems to be the primary target, and the Yankees’ relationship / charm with him has been widely reported. He was drafted in the first round of the 2008 MLB Draft by the high school, but failed to sign him. They found him as a trader when the Pirates took him out after the 2017 season but did not meet Pittsburgh’s honor.
So now, maybe on the third occasion, they’ll land Cole. And if Cole prefers the West Coast – he is a Southern California man – maybe the Yankees can persuade Strasbourg to join the World Series search.
Either way, the cost will be high. Cole, who is two years younger than Strasbourg at 29, will receive the biggest contract for a pitcher (David Price is $ 217 million) and the Strasbourg AAV will be on the same mark as Justin’s record Verlander $ 33 million a year).
After a decade away from the World Series, these are the two foes the Yankees should be involved in, and the Yankees fans should be happy that their team is aggressive after both starters.