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Does Gerrit Cole Have an Opt-Out Clause in his $324 Million Yankees Contract?

Published 11/15/2023, 8:10 PM EST

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2023 was the worst season since 1992 for the New York Yankees. The team failed to make it to the playoffs in a disastrous ending to their season. However, all was not bad for the star players of the team. Even after a terrible season, the Yankees clubhouse has multiple winners, including Aaron Judge. Now Gerrit Cole has made this list bigger with an award of his career.

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Notably, the star pitcher won his first Cy Young award on Wednesday. It ended his long overdue after coming closer to having one finally in his name since debuting in 2013. Given that it has come up amidst all the poor seasons, the worth of this recognition has multiplied. It has also increased Cole’s worth, which his $324 million contract may not entirely reflect. But if the award winner wants to change it in the free agency, can he do so through an opt-out?

An Opt-Out Clause That Can Free Gerrit Cole Beyond 2024


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The world of economics is already very complex, but the complexity increases in player contracts due to constant changes that include terminations, extensions, and more. To simplify and safeguard their interests, players often have opt-out clauses in the contracts to set them free if the need arises. Notably, the Yankees star pitcher Gerrit Cole has an opt-out clause in his contract according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts.



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Although multiple years left on his nine-year contract, if this clause is activated, Cole can move out from the Yankees after 2024, with four years and $144 million remaining in his contract.

Notably, Pinstripes have not played well lately and have not won any title since 2009. With the league becoming more competitive, the chances of winning have also dropped unless the Yanks change drastically. In 2024, the recipient of the 2023 Cy Young award, Cole, may opt to join a team with a better chance of winning if the New York Yankees continue to face challenges. But after the latest updates, will that be the case?

Will 2023 Cy Young Award Winner Cole Choose a Different Way after a Year?

It was not an ideal year for the Yankees. However, the off-season has been fruitful, with Gerrit Cole becoming the latest winner. The 33-year-old is the 2023 AL Cy Young Award winner to establish himself as one of the best for the team. However, with all the positives, this has also opened the doors of questions about his future, especially with the date of activation of his opt-out clause coming closer.

Notably, Cole has not won any World Series and will be entering in later thirties soon, leaving him with limited time to fulfill his big dream. Though Cole has expressed that he is not thinking about it, he may choose to part ways if 2024 also ends poorly for the Yankees. But will the Bronx allow this to happen?


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Considering the praises Cole got from both GM Brian Cashman and manager Aaron Boone, it is unlikely they would allow him to go so soon. To make it happen, the Yanks can eliminate Cole’s opt-out by adding another year to his contract with $36 million as the price for it.

“We Are Lucky to Have Him”: Yankees’ Brian Cashman and Aaron Boone Overflow With Emotions as Gerrit Cole Wins Long Overdue Cy Young Award

It would bound the player to complete his contract and probably end his career at Bronx, with or without any title. However, given the dynamic nature of the league, anything can happen. What do you think about it? Let us know your take in the comments.


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Written by:

Saurabh Saini


One take at a time

Saurabh Saini is a senior MLB writer and content analyst for EssentiallySports. Having started as a baseball writer, Saurabh has a sound knowledge of the sport. Even before joining ES, he covered the MLB, NFL, and NHL for his previous organization, SportsKeeda.
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Edited by:

Deepanshi Bajaj