The New York Yankees are all in on 2020.
The Yankees landed the prize of the free-agent class Tuesday night, reportedly agreeing to a nine-year, $324 million contract with right-hander Gerrit Cole.
Adding one of the top pitchers in Major League Baseball gives the Yankees a ridiculously loaded starting rotation led by three hurlers with multiple All-Star appearances:
1. Gerrit Cole
2. Luis Severino
3. Masahiro Tanaka
4. James Paxton
5. Domingo German/Jordan Montgomery
Add that star-studded pitching staff to a fearsome lineup that led MLB in runs scored last season, and you could argue the Yankees, on paper, have the best team in baseball.
The sportsbooks apparently agree: Hours after New York reportedly landed Cole, New Jersey sportsbook PointsBet made the Yankees the co-favorites to win the 2020 World Series along with the Los Angeles Dodgers at +450 odds.
The Boston Red Sox aren't too far behind, as PointsBet has them at +1200 odds, tied with the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves for fourth-best in MLB.
But the Yankees acquiring Cole certainly puts the Red Sox on notice.
Boston finished 19 games back of the Yankees in the American League East last season while missing the playoffs, and its longtime rival appears to have widened the talent gap.
That puts the pressure on Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and his staff, who must decide whether to keep Mookie Betts entering the final year of his contract or trade the superstar outfielder while his value is still high.
Another item on Bloom's agenda is what to do with pitcher David Price, who reportedly is garnering interest at MLB's Winter Meetings as a potential trade piece to help Boston get under the luxury tax.
It's worth wondering, however, if New York acquiring Cole changes the calculus for Boston: Could the Sox really offload Betts and/or Price knowing that their AL East rival is gearing up for a World Series run?
We'll find out soon enough.
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