The second of two top free-agent starting pitchers is off the market. Former Astros starter Gerrit Cole agreed to terms on a nine-year, $324 million deal with the New York Yankees, according to multiple reports. The deal makes him the highest-paid pitcher of all time.
Cole is a native of Southern California and was linked to the Los Angeles Dodgers and Angels despite his agent, Scott Boras, saying geography wasn’t a factor. Cole landed in the East, just not the one with the Phillies in it. Cole’s decision keeps him out of the National League and away from the Dodgers’ stacked starting rotation. The Dodgers have won or lost to the NL pennant winners the last five years, so the Phillies would have likely had to cross paths with Cole to reach their postseason goals.
The market for starting pitchers has been reset substantially. The Nationals brought back Stephen Strasburg with a seven-year, $245 million deal last week.
Hyun-Jin Ryu, Madison Bumgarner, and Dallas Keuchel are some of the top starting-pitcher options still available. The Phillies notably passed last season on Keuchel, who seemed to remember the decision when he played them.