The New York Yankees did it, but signing Gerrit Cole was not easy. They had to beat out teams from his home state of California and an apparent "mystery team," but at the end of the day they were the final team standing. Oh, and they needed to fork over a lot of cash as well, a record-breaking nine-year $324 million deal to be exact.
But it turns out something else out of New York impressed Cole and his wife Amy Crawford.
The Yankees presented Cole with a '30-pound-ish contraption,' according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, that helped sell him on the idea of joining the historic franchise.
Apparently this is something the Yankees do.
"The Yankees provided Cole one of their favorite toys," Sherman wrote.
He went on to describe the item, saying it was, "a 30-pound-ish contraption shaped like home plate with a giant interlocking 'NY' that when opened reveals a facsimile of Yankee Stadium."
Alright, now this is getting interesting.
Anyone else imagining a beam shooting up to the sky and a chorus of opera singers belting out when you open this home plate-shaped object, or is it just me?
The addition of a mini Yankee Stadium is also just down right adorable.
Were there miniature fans yelling? Bleacher creatures chanting Cole's name? A tiny Monument Park? We have so many questions.
That's not all though.
Sherman added that this contraption was complete, "With an iPad in the middle that contains pretty much every question you would have about the franchise — from breakdowns of all 27 championship teams to where to live and have your kids go to school, etc."
I am picturing holograms of Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez saying in a very inviting tone, "Welcome, you have been selected because the Yankees think you have the talent. And they are prepared to pay you large sums of money for that talent. Here's what you need to know about playing in pinstripes."
Sherman said this thoroughness -- which, you do have to admit this seems pretty thorough -- impressed Cole and his wife.
If you ask me, the money and length of contract were probably the two main things that drew Cole in, but it seemed like this extravagant, questionably heavy, kind of mysterious box was the sinker.
I just hope Cole got to keep it as a souvenir.