How Much Would Gerrit Cole, Yankees' Stars Make After Pay Cuts in Latest MLB Proposal

Max Goodman

When Gerrit Cole signed with the Yankees this offseason, he agreed to a deal worth $324 million. His contract's average annual value of $36 million is the most in Major League Baseball history.

Within MLB's latest proposal, amid ongoing negotiations to bring baseball back during the COVID-19 pandemic, the league has proposed that Cole would make approximately $8 million in 2020.

MLB presented a sliding-scale economic proposal to the MLB Players' Association on Tuesday. Within the proposal, the league's highest-paid players would take the most substantial pay cuts.

Here's a look at the exact figures of the significant pay cuts that circulated on social media Tuesday evening, first reported by Jeff Passan and Jesse Rogers of ESPN.

For the Yankees, 11 players were under contract to receive more than $10 million had the 2020 season been played in full. That includes three players with salaries north of $20 million: Cole ($36M), Giancarlo Stanton ($26M) and Masahiro Tanaka ($23M).

While highest-paid players stand to lose the most money under the proposed salary reductions, those with lower salaries also will be affected.

With those numbers in mind, take a look at what some Yankees would make. The following chart includes both sides of the spectrum, with figures proportionate to the nearest round number in Passan's initial report:

Player on Yankees
Original Salary for full season in 2020
Salary in MLB's proposal for 2020 (approximately)

Gerrit Cole

$36M

$8.06M

Giancarlo Stanton

$26M

$6.02M

DJ LeMahieu

$12M

$3.54M

Aaron Judge

$8.5M

$2.51M

Gary Sánchez

$5M

$1.64M

Gio Urshela

$2.48M

$1.07M

Gleyber Torres

$675.5K

$314.1K

Kyle Higashioka

$579.2K

$269.3K

For instance, before the pandemic, Aaron Judge was expected to make $8.5 million this year. Using the proposed sliding scale value for salaries worth $10 million ($2.95M), Judge would end up with $2.51M.

That means that Cole—who would make $18 million in half a season, as this proposal is set to include an 82-game truncated campaign—would be taking more than a 50% pay cut.

Later on Tuesday evening, Passan presented the economic scale showing the distribution of what percentage of players' original salary figures will be cut depending on how much each player is making.

This doesn't include potential postseason bonuses and is, of course, subject to change as negotiations continue this week and beyond. 

READ: Yankees Most Valuable Franchise in MLB at $5 Billion, Forbes Estimates

“We made a proposal to the union that is completely consistent with the economic realities facing our sport," MLB said in a statement regarding its initial proposal. "We look forward to a responsive proposal from the MLBPA.”

Regardless of what MLB believes about the proposal, it will not be implemented without the approval of the players' union, which seems unlikely. The union has opposed any additional reduction in pay for the players, after the initial March agreement that said they would receive prorated salaries for an abbreviated season.

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For more from Max Goodman, follow him on Twitter @MaxTGoodman. Follow ITP on Twitter @SI_Yankees and Facebook @SIYankees

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