SAN DIEGO — The Yankees have raised the stakes for their World Series pursuit by acquiring arguably the best pitcher in baseball, Gerrit Cole, with the richest contract ever given to a pitcher: $324 million over nine years. They had made Cole their overwhelming priority this off-season, and beat the Los Angeles Angels and Dodgers in the race for the right-hander.
Cole, 29, agreed to the deal, which is pending a physical examination in the coming days, late Tuesday night, according to people familiar with the situation. The Yankees also gave Cole, a right-hander, a full no-trade clause in the deal.
Cole shattered the record for the largest contract ever awarded a pitcher by a wide margin. On Monday, Stephen Strasburg re-signed with the Washington Nationals for seven years and $245 million, setting new marks for the largest total commitment and the highest average annual value for a pitcher. Cole bested both, and also beat the deal of the Angels superstar outfielder Mike Trout, which has an average annual value of $35.5 million.
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