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Rick Zamperin: Latest signings show great divide between Blue Jays and Yankees

Gerrit Cole poses at Yankee Stadium as the newest New York Yankees playeron Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019 in New York.
Gerrit Cole poses at Yankee Stadium as the newest New York Yankees playeron Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019 in New York. AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

The latest free agent signings made by the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees say everything you need to know about the modern age of baseball.

On the same day that the Blue Jays officially introduced Tanner Roark as the newest member of their pitching staff, their American League East rivals from the Bronx were trotting out Gerrit Cole.

Roark signed a two-year contract with Toronto worth $24 million while Cole inked the richest contract for a pitcher in Major League Baseball history at nine years and $324 million.

READ MORE: Jays sign Roark to 2-year, $24-million deal

Cole, the 2019 A.L. Cy Young Award runner-up with the Houston Astros, will earn $34 million a season.

In short, the gap between the haves and have-nots is immense.

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Toronto’s total payroll in 2019 was just over $111 million, 21st in the league, while fellow division rival Boston and the Yanks were No. 1 and No. 2 in total payroll. They also spent more than double what the Jays did last year.

MLB accused of tolerating domestic abuse and misconduct after Osuna trade
MLB accused of tolerating domestic abuse and misconduct after Osuna trade

Spending, or overspending, on players doesn’t guarantee success.

The Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Angels and Philadelphia Phillies were all among the top 10 spenders last season and none of them made the playoffs.

The Bue Jays have some incredible young talent in Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio and Lourdes Gurriel Jr., but they haven’t been able to develop or acquire enough elite pitchers to allow them to compete with some of the other top clubs.

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And the sad thing is, by the look of things, it doesn’t seem like that is going to change anytime soon.