MLB Players: Top 10 old faces in new places for 2020

Houston Astros Robinson Chirinos Gerrit Cole. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Houston Astros Robinson Chirinos Gerrit Cole. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /
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MLB Gerrit Cole
New York Yankees Gerrit Cole. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

MLB Players: Top 10 old faces in new places for 2020

gerrit cole. 1. player. 43. . .

How acquired: Signed as a free agent on Dec. 18

The New York Yankees making the biggest offseason splash? That never happens, does it?

But seriously, folks.

The Yankees pulled all the spare change out of the couch cushions to sign right-hander Gerrit Cole to a nine-year, $324 million contract that will pay Cole $36 million a season.

The three-time All-Star can opt-out of the deal after the 2024 season, while the Yankees can void the opt-out clause for the super-low price of a guaranteed 10th year in 2029 … at another $36 million.

Cole finished second in the AL Cy Young voting last season while with the Houston Astros, finishing behind teammate Justin Verlander. He was eighth in the AL with 6.8 WAR and fourth among pitchers at a 6.9 figure.

That went along with leading the AL in ERA, strikeout, strikeouts per nine innings and ERA+.

In 33 starts, Cole posted a 2.50 ERA and 0.895 WHIP in 212.1 innings, striking out a career-high 326 batters while allowing 29 home runs. He was an All-Star for the second straight season and helped pitch Houston to its second World Series appearance in three years.

And Cole was dominant for most of the postseason. He made five starts and worked 36.2 innings with a 1.72 ERA and 0.873 WHIP to go with 47 strikeouts.

He struck out 15 in 7.2 shutout innings in Game 2 of the ALDS against the Rays, came back with eight innings of two-hit pitching in the Game 5 clincher, striking out 10 and allowing just one run.

He shut down the Yankees on four hits over seven innings in Game 3 of the ALCS and allowed a run on three hits over seven innings in a Game 5 win at Washington in the World Series. His one poor outing was in Game 1 of the World Series, allowing five runs on eight hits in seven innings in a 5-4 loss.

Next. The best MLB players for all 30 teams in 2020. dark

Cole won’t turn 30 until early September, but nine (or 10) years is an awfully long contract for a franchise that never seems to be able to stop itself from going back to that particular well.