Mr. Cole Comes To The Bronx

It is now official folks, Gerrit Cole, arguably the game’s best pitcher will be wearing pinstripes next season. On a chilly Wednesday afternoon in the Bronx, the New York Yankees formally introduced Cole to the New York media.

“I’d like to thank God for blessing me with this amazing opportunity to fulfill my dream,” Cole said. “I can remember as a little boy dreaming about being a Major League Baseball player, specifically a Yankee. And like [General Manager] Brian [Cashman] said, it’s the right time and the right place to take that step.”

The 29-year-old Cole finished last season with a record of 20-5, and an American League-best ERA of 2.50. Not to mention a league best 326 strikeouts. But even more impressive was Cole’s post-season stats. Cole went 4-1 in the playoffs, in which he gave up less than 2 runs overall. Unfortunately, the Houston Astros feel short of the grand prize. The Astros eventually lost in the World Series to the Washington Nationals in seven games.

Cole was targeted by the Yankees for quite some time. Ten years to be exact. They drafted him back in 2008 with the 28th pick, but Cole choose to continue his education at UCLA. The Yankees also tried to trade for him two seasons ago but fell short. During this team Cole was traded to the Houston Astros. Eager to reel in the big fish and conclude the pursuit, Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner, with the help of general manager Brian Cashman broke the bank to get their man. The Yankees signed Cole to a nine-year contract, reportedly worth $324 million. A record for pitchers, surpassing Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers and David Price of the Red Sox. Cole’s deal includes a full no-trade clause and allows him to opt out after five years.

“I came eight outs away from getting a ring,” he said. “I felt like I could see the light underneath the door, and then it was slammed shut in our face, where it was probably never really opened actually. But I’m as hungry as ever to finish that journey, finish that challenge, and in my opinion, there would be no better place to do it than New York.”

Many of the baseball pundits have alluded to the fact that the Yankees were one piece away from clinching their 28th championship. As the adage says, “you can never have too much pitching. By adding Cole to the starting rotation, he now joins Masahiro Tanaka, Luis Severino, and James Paxton. To make room for Cole on the 40-man roster, the Yankees have designated pitcher Chance Adams for assignment.   

While at the podium Cole, a life-long SoCal [Southern California] resident, confirmed that he has been a life-long Yankee fan.

When he reached the dais, Cole pulled from underneath, the same sign that he was once photographed holding as an 11-year-old, during the 2001 World Series, in which the Yankees played the Arizona Diamondbacks.


“I would just like to say I’m here,” he said. “I’ve always been here.”

Cole is expected to wear number 45 for the Yankees in the upcoming season. And although he admitted that passing up on the ‘Bronx Bombers’ some 11 years ago was tough to do, he ensured that it wasn’t going to happen twice. As he put it, he has dreams to fulfill and championships to win and for one reason only:

“The Yankees are the best organization in the league.”


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