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MLB Roundup 12/11: Yankees get Gerrit Cole

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Plus, the full All-MLB teams and a couple moves by the Giants.

World Series - Houston Astros v Washington Nationals - Game Five Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Yankees sign Gerrit Cole to record deal

Well, that’s that. Gerrit Cole has made his decision and he’s going to be wearing pinstripes for almost a decade. The Yankees have given the former Astro a massive, record-setting deal and are set to pay him $324 million over nine years. Cole also has an opt out after the fifth year. It’s not too difficult to look at that number and scoff a little bit, but there’s little question we’re talking about the real deal here. Cole is about as good as it gets in baseball — Jacob deGrom is probably the only pitcher I’d take over him right now, and even that is no sure thing — and shows no signs of slowing down. I know a lot of people will point to him only making 30-35 starts a game, but that’s misleading. Consider that, over the last three years, he has averaged 822 batters faced per season. That would, of course, lead the league if it were plate appearances on the other side of things. This is, plain and simple, a huge addition for the Yankees who now have a hell of a top three in their rotation with Luis Severino and James Paxton in addition to Cole.

Sox Spin: Red Sox fans will talk themselves into this being too much money or something that will ultimately hurt the Yankees, and that’s only natural. We need to make ourselves feel better. The fact of the matter, though, is that this is going to make things much more difficult in the division. Full stop.

Didi Gregorius signs with the Phillies

Yankee fans actually had reason to get upset a little earlier in the day as they lost their everyday shortstop. Didi Gregorius is leaving New York and heads to Philadelphia on a one-year deal worth $14. The shortstop figures to move Jean Segura over to second base while Scott Kingery mans the hot corner, at least until top prospect Alec Bohm is ready. Gregorius is coming off a tough year, missing half the season recovering from Tommy John surgery and struggling a bit upon his return. If he can return to something close to his previous self now that he’s healthy and with a full offseason, though, this is a huge addition for the Phillies.

Sox Spin: Well, the Yankees lost a player! With Gleyber Torres, of course, it’s not a huge deal for them. They can make this work. More personally, Gregorius has long been one of my favorite players in the game, so it’s cool that he won’t be on my favorite team’s biggest rival anymore.

All-MLB teams are named

The first ever All-MLB teams were named yesterday. I don’t have much to say about them — they seem pretty much right — but here are the full rosters.

First Team

C: J.T. Realmuto, PHI

1B: Pete Alonso, NYM

2B: DJ LeMahieu, NYY

3B: Anthony Rendon, WAS

SS: Xander Bogaerts, BOS

OF: Mike Trout, LAA

OF: Cody Bellinger, LAD

OF: Christian Yelich, MIL

DH: Nelson Crúz, MIN

SP: Gerrit Cole, HOU

SP: Justin Verlander, HOU

SP: Jacob deGrom, NYM

SP: Max Scherzer, WAS

SP: Stephen Strasburg, WAS

RP: Kirby Yates, SD

RP: Josh Hader, MIL

Second Team

C: Yasmani Grandal, MIL

1B: Freddie Freeman, ATL

2B: José Altuve, HOU

3B: Alex Bregman, HOU

SS: Marcus Semien, OAK

OF: Ronald Acuña Jr., ATL

OF: Juan Soto, WAS

OF: Mookie Betts, BOS

DH: Yordan Álvarez, HOU

SP: Zack Greinke, HOU/ARZ

SP: Hyun-Jin Ryu, LAD

SP: Charlie Morton, TB

SP: Jack Flaherty, STL

SP: Mike Soroka, ATL

RP: Liam Hendriks, OAK

RP: Aroldis Chapman, NYY

Sox Spin: I wrote about the Bogaerts and Betts wins here.

Angels trade Zack Cozart and prospect to Giants

The Angels were a player for Cole and expect to add some significant salary this year. To make that a little easier, they have unloaded some salary by sending Zack Cozart and prospect Will Wilson to the Giants for cash and a player to be named later. This is a pure salary dump for Los Angeles, who gets rid of Cozart and his nearly $13 million salary. What makes this particularly interesting is that the Angels packaged their most recent first round pick to facilitate this deal. That seems like a lot just to dump salary, but if you deem it absolutely necessary to add major pieces — say, Anthony Rendon, David Price and Hyun-Jin Ryu? — you gotta do what you gotta do.

Angels perspective

Giants perspective

Sox Spin: There is a big takeaway here for the Red Sox. You saw Price’s name above, and that’s the speculation right now. Cole was always going to make his decision before anything happened with Price, but now those who missed out will look in other directions. The Angels have cut salary, and the Red Sox want to get rid of Price’s. It works.

Giants sign Kevin Gausman

In addition to trading for Cozart and Willson, the Giants signed Kevin Gausman to a one-year deal worth $9 million. Red Sox fans are familiar with the righty as he spend the early parts of his career with the Orioles. He left Baltimore midway through 2018, but he hasn’t really found his footing with Atlanta of Cincinnati, either. The Giants will presumably put him in their rotation and hope their huge ballpark helps him find his true talent, but I don’t think he’ll have real success until he embraces a relief role full-time.

Sox Spin: I was interested in Gausman if he wanted to pitch out of the bullpen, but not as a a starter. It’s not out of the realm of possibility he succeeds in San Francisco, but I couldn’t ever see him succeeding in the rotation at Fenway and the rest of the AL East. We’ve seen that show.

Adam Jones to sign in Japan

Speaking of former Orioles players, one of the faces of their franchise over the last decade is heading overseas. Adam Jones is going to play in Japan on a two-year deal. The outfielder is certainly not the player he once was, but could probably still serve as a backup with strong leadership qualities on the right team. Instead, he’ll get to play every day in a different league while giving his family the rare chance to live in and experience another culture. Kevin Youkilis talked about that aspect of things back when he signed in Japan and it’s something I think about all the time. It’s a unique life where you can give your children this kind of opportunity, and if that’s something you think is important why not take advantage? It’s also worth noting that, since he is not on an affiliated roster, Jones will be eligible to play for Team USA at the Olympics next year, too.

Sox Spin: Jones was another one of my favorite Red Sox rivals. It’s a bummer to see him out of the league, but again this can be a very good thing for him and his family.