New York Yankees: The Gerrit Cole signing couldn’t have come at a worse time

Alexander Wilson
New York Yankees, Gerrit Cole
Mar 5, 2020; Lakeland, Florida, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) reacts on the mound during the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Signing Gerrit Cole was a huge win for the New York Yankees, and now it’s an even bigger loss:

Before coronavirus enveloped society in its clutches, the Yankees were off to a solid off-season, starting with the signing of arguably the best pitcher in baseball, Gerrit Cole. The former Houston Astros ace signed a nine-year, $324 million contract with the Yankees, solidifying the top spot in the starting pitching rotation and breeding optimism that a World Series in 2020 is very much a part of the picture.

In fact, the World Series was a probability, given the fact that Cole was representing their number one pitcher, and they had Luis Severino and James Paxton, two fringe top starters right behind him.

The three-man rotation of Cole, Severino, and Paxton would have been elite. Considering the ample depth the Yankees had in the rotation, they could have broken their 103-win mark from 2019.

Injuries began to take their toll before Grapefruit League play even began, which was a negative sign going into the season, especially with Severino already being ruled out for the entire year. Luckily, the Yankees had plenty of death, including young pitcher Deivi Garcia and alternatives like Clark Schmidt and Jordan Montgomery returning from Tommy John surgery.

However, the signing of Cole is looking like a bad omen for the Bombers who haven’t reached a World Series in over a decade. Looking back, the deal still represents success and future dominance for the team, but they are paying him an astronomical amount of money for him to sit still and wait for MLB to resume operations.

On that same concept, they’re overpaying Giancarlo Stanton, who has an out in his contract after the 2020 campaign. He has all the leverage and will likely stick with the Yankees since he’s set to earn over $30 million for the next few seasons and is coming off an injury-riddled 2019 campaign. Hopefully, both Cole and Stanton can live up to their potential in 2020.