However, Van Baarle's agent told Cyclingnews on Friday that pen was never put to paper, with Van Baarle himself confirming the agreement was only verbal.
The future of the team, run by Jonathan Vaughters, has been in doubt for the last couple of weeks after a planned sponsor for 2018 fell through and left them with a budget shortfall. Riders were released from their contracts and told they were free to start looking for work elsewhere, while the management searched for fresh investment.
In Van Baarle's case, there was no shortage of interest, with numerous WorldTour teams making approaches for the highly-rated young classics rider. Several of those avenues resulted in concrete offers.
On Thursday, Cannondale-Drapac riders were informed via email that the team would continue in 2018, and that contracts would be enforced. Despite communications to the contrary, Van Baarle never had a binding agreement, and he is essentially on the market like the rest of the riders whose contracts were set to expire at the end of 2017.
Van Baarle's agent suggested that he will now talk with Vaughters to see what exactly is on the table, and if the offer that had been agreed in principal still stands.
However, Cyclingnews understands that Van Baarle has already made his mind up to leave.
Fellow Cannondale-Drapac classics riders, Sep Vanmarcke and Sebastian Langeveld, both have signed contracts for 2018.