WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 27: Gerrit Cole #45 of the Houston Astros delivers the pitch against the Washington Nationals during the fourth inning in Game Five of the 2019 World Series at Nationals Park on October 27, 2019 in Washington, DC.
(Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)

The New York Yankees are all in on the Gerrit Cole sweepstakes and reportedly made their first offer to open negotiations on Tuesday night.

The New York Yankees and Gerrit Cole are officially engaged in contract discussions at winter meetings.

By all accounts, Cole is pushing to sign during the meetings so Yankees fans should buckle up for the rest of the week.

The initial offer was previously reported to be for seven years, $245 million.

But now that Stephen Strasburg is returning to the Washington Nationals for that exact figure, the Yankees will need to raise the bar.

In fact, many are predicting the Cole could receive a contract into the $300 million range. Some have even tossed out figures like nine years, $324 million. Such a number would shatter Strasburg’s record, and be more than $100 million more than the previous record.

And why shouldn’t he? The Nationals will pay Strasburg through his age-37 season. Scott Boras will surely take that into his negotiations for Cole. The push for extra years is likely what will make or break the Yankees’ interest in Cole. Sure, the right-hander is a superstar now, but paying $36 million per year into his late 30s isn’t ideal.

Still, the Yankees should go to extreme lengths to complete this deal. A pitcher of Cole’s caliber is rarely available like this. He’s a rotation anchor and likely a perennial Cy Young candidate.

By all accounts, he’s as great a competitor as there is, and has never dealt with the wear and tear injuries that tend to plague pitchers. He’s a perfect fit for New York.

The point is, Gerrit Cole is about to be the wealthiest pitcher of all time. With Strasburg off the market, the Yankees and the Los Angeles Angels have their sole focus on the 29-year-old. Hopefully, the Yankees are the team that ultimately overpays, and they acquire their ace for years to come.

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