Gerrit Cole
Gerrit Cole gives up just two earned runs over six innings but Yankees fall to the Red Sox, 3-2. (Frank Franklin II/AP)

Gerrit Cole was made the most expensive pitcher in MLB by the New York Yankees back in 2019. They offered the most durable pitcher in the league a nine-year $324 million contract. And Cole lived up to the faith by turning up 33 times on the mound each season thereafter.

However, the 2024 season marks a rare occurrence for Gerrit Cole as he encountered a first-ever realistic injury concern in his 300-start illustrious career. Moreover, with the ace pitcher entering his opt-out year of the mega contract, speculations of the elbow injury allegedly hampering his market value have gained momentum.


Will Gerrit Cole Still Choose To Opt Out Of Yankees Contract After Elbow Injury?

Gerrit Cole
Gerrit Cole (r.) speaks with Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner (l.) earlier in spring training. Charles Wenzelberg/NY Post

Gerrit Cole, the reigning AL CY Young pitcher, was poised to lead the New York Yankees to a championship this year with a renewed energy and revamped roster. However, spring bang-up triggered nerve elbow inflammation, and Cole was subsequently ruled out for 10-12 weeks. While the ace is taking baby steps on the path to swift recovery, questions over his future uncertainty have started to bloom. Many analysts expected Cole to opt out of a nine-year contract to lure Yanks into forfeiting his opt-out clause by adding an extra year for $36 million. This way, Cole’s contract would be around 10 years. Moreover, Scott Boras hinted that the opt-out strategy could be on the cards by the end of the 2024 season.

However, with Gerrit Cole’s durability under threat, the master plan may not hold ground. Notably, MLB pitchers have witnessed an epidemic of injuries with the introduction of the pitch clock rule. Therefore, for Cole to convince suitors that his elbow injury was a one-off incident and prove his durability would be an uphill battle. Moreover, with Juan Soto coming on a one-year trade, the New York Yankees are kind of tempted to seek an extension, which could cost them $500 million. Hence, if Cole acts up, the Bronx Bombers might release him to make space for Soto and then sign cheap pitching reinforcements. Undoubtedly, the mutual respect between Yanks and Cole is immense. However, the business aspect of the sport spares no one, not even a starting pitcher with a negligible injury history.

Gerrit Cole Plays Catch In First Mega Step Towards Recovery!

Gerrit Cole, Yankees
Credit: Getty Images

New York Yankees ace pitcher Gerrit Cole is currently in rehabilitation for an elbow nerve inflammation injury. After being shut down for a couple of weeks, the reigning AL-CY Young pitcher resumed baseball-related activities by playing catch on Monday. He threw 25 light throws from 60 feet before the Yanks took on the Miami Marlins at Yankee Stadium.

Moreover, Aaron Boone has confirmed that Gerrit Cole will attend a couple of more throwing sessions this week before an evaluation takes place. To date, the Yankees are unsure of his return timeline. “It’s another important step, but there are a lot more steps along the way,” said Boone on Cole playing catch. Notably, Cole isn’t eligible to return until the last week of May.

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