How Andy Pettitte and Hal Steinbrenner Convinced Gerrit Cole to Sign With Yankees

Former Astros ace Gerrit Cole signed a record-breaking contract with the New York Yankees Tuesday.
Former Astros ace Gerrit Cole signed a record-breaking contract with the New York Yankees Tuesday. | Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The New York Yankees dropped a fairly forecasted bomb on the baseball world late Tuesday night when it was confirmed that they reached an agreement to sign Gerrit Cole in free agency. Cole's contract -- nine years for $324 million -- is the richest ever for a pitcher in MLB history, and it comes with the perk of playing for the club he was infatuated with growing up.

It was an announcement that appeared written in the stars, but the Yankees, specifically Hal Steinbrenner and Andy Pettitte, showed a determination to get Cole to New York ought to be commended.

This is what separates the Bronx Bombers from the rest of the bunch. Hate them if you must, but their dogged pursuit of free agents is second to none. It deserves respect, even begrudgingly.

Flying out Pettite, one of Cole's childhood heroe, as part of the free agent pitch must have meant everything to the 29-year-old right-hander. Pair that treat with the fact that Hal Steinbrenner spoke directly to Cole's (super) agent Scott Boras and displayed his desire to land the three-time All-Star by going over the top and including a ninth year to the Yankees' original offer, and it becomes quite clear why the former Astro elected to take his talents to the South Bronx.

That's how you do it, folks, and the rest of the MLB should be taking notes. It's not just about having the biggest bank account; the Pinstripes have mastered the game of chess while the rest of the league is merely in the intermediate stage of conquering checkers.