MLB

MLB Weekly Digest December 16th Edition: Yankees Sign Cole

MLB

The last week in MLB was about a trio of marquee free agents signing massive contracts, including two starting pitchers.

New York Yankees Sign Starting Pitcher Gerrit Cole to Nine-Year Deal

The New York Yankees flexed their financial muscle and have finally landed their ace, by signing starting pitcher Gerrit Cole to a nine-year, $324-million contract, per Jeff Passan of ESPN.

The deal is the largest for a pitcher in MLB history, in terms of both the total value and the average annual value of $36 million.

The deal includes an opt-out clause after the fifth year, notes Passan.

There will be no deferred money in the contract, and it includes a no-trade clause, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

It’s the second-largest contract ever for a free-agent pitcher in terms of length, as the Indians signed Wayne Garland to a 10-year deal worth $2.3 million in 1976, per ESPN Stats & Info.

A starting pitcher signing a nine-year deal seems implausible, but Cole is the one individual who deserves it.

Cole is coming off a dominating 2019 campaign with the Houston Astros, by leading the American League in strikeouts, ERA+, FIP, and ERA, at 326,185, 2.64 and 2.50, respectively.

He also finished second in the AL Cy Young, tossing 212 1/3 innings pitched, yielding 29 home runs and posting a 0.89 WHIP.

Cole had 21 games last season in which he recorded 10 or more strikeouts.

The Yankees’ starting pitchers combined for seven games of 10 or more strikeouts, per Sarah Langs of MLB.com.

Cole was the Yankees’ primary target, and it showed they wanted him by offering him a nine-year deal.

The Yankees might not have him for nine years as he can opt-out after the fifth year.

The team has an anchor for the staff and should be considered the favorite to represent the AL in the World Series next year.

Washington Nationals Sign Starting Pitcher Stephen Strasburg to Seven-Year Contract

The Washington Nationals decided a couple of days ago the future direction of their franchise by signing starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg to a seven-year, $245-million contract, per Jeff Passan of ESPN.

The contract for Strasburg includes a full no-trade clause with several incentives as part of the deal, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

There will be deferred money in the deal, per Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY.

Strasburg was terrific during the regular season for the Nationals, as he led the National League in wins and innings pitched at 18 and 209, respectively.

The right-hander compiled a 3.32 ERA with 251 strikeouts, 24 home runs surrendered, and a 3.25 FIP.

He came up huge during the playoffs for the Nats, by accumulating a 1.98 ERA in 36 1/3 innings pitched.

Strasburg has the third-lowest career postseason ERA since 1913 at 1.46, per MLB Stats.

The Nats signing Strasburg to this contract carries risk, as Strasburg has dealt with several injuries in his career.

However, he proved this past season; he’s one of the best starting pitchers in the NL when healthy.

If there was a team to break the bank for Strasburg, it’s logical that the team would be the Nats, considering they know him the best.

The team won the World Series last year, due to having a steady pitching rotation, and it will be interesting to see if they win more titles while Strasburg is with the club.

Los Angeles Angels Sign Third Baseman Anthony Rendon to Seven-Year Deal

The Los Angeles Angels made a huge splash a couple of days ago, when they signed third baseman Anthony Rendon to a seven-year, $245-million contract, per Jon Heyman of MLB Network.

The contract for Rendon has a full no-trade clause, no opt-clause, and no deferred money, per Mark Feinsand of MLB.com.

The deal for Rendon is the largest free-agent contract ever given by the Angels, per Sarah Langs of MLB.com.

It’s also the highest contract, in terms of average annual value, for a third baseman in MLB history, per MLB Stats.

Rendon is coming off a stellar 2019 season with the Nationals, as he posted a .319 batting average and 1.010 OPS in 146 games with 174 hits, 117 runs scored, and 34 home runs.

He also led the NL in doubles and RBIs at 44 and 126, respectively.

Rendon played a significant role in helping the Nats win the World Series as he had a .276 average and .930 OPS with two home runs and eight RBIs during the Fall Classic.

The Angels have a solid lineup with Rendon, outfielder Mike Trout, and two-way player Shohei Ohtani.

The team still has work to do during the offseason as they need to add starting pitchers to have a chance at competing for a playoff spot next year.

Author Profile

Chris Lacey
Chris is a 25-year old New Jersey native whose favorite sports team is the Arizona Diamondbacks. He previously attended Western New England College to study Sports Management. Chris has been following the Diamondbacks since he was 12. You can find him on Twitter [email protected]
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