New York Yankees News/Rumors: Sticky situation for Gerrit Cole as he is named in banned substance lawsuit

Could the Yankees pursue Gerrit Cole this offseason?
Oct 22, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) walks to the bullpen to warm up before game one of the 2019 World Series against the Washington Nationals at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

New York Yankees ace pitcher Gerrit Cole has gotten himself implicated in a lawsuit involving his previous team’s actions, the Houston Astros, in 2019. The lawsuit involves the Los Angeles Angels clubhouse manager “Bubba” Harkins, who has been fired by the Angels when his attornies submitted a text message allegedly from Cole, in Orange County (Calif.) Superior Court on Thursday, according to reports, including one in the Los Angeles Times.

“Hey Bubba, it’s Gerrit Cole, I was wondering if you could help me out with this sticky situation,” the pitcher, then with the Astros wrote on Jan. 17, 2019, adding a wink emoji, according to the reports. “We don’t see you until May, but we have some road games in April that are in cold weather places. The stuff I had last year seizes up when it gets cold.”

A Major League Baseball investigation found he was providing banned substances to pitchers to enhance their baseball grip. The Angels fired Harkins in March. Harkins had filed a defamation lawsuit against the Angels and Major League Baseball in August. The lawsuit implicated several pitchers, both with the Angels and other team pitchers, including Cole. In the suit, Harkins claimed he was being used as a “scapegoat.”

Last year, Trevor Bauer wrote in The Players’ Tribune that he was suspicious of how pitchers on the Astros teams Cole pitched for had improved their spin rate so dramatically.

“When I see a guy go from being a good pitcher for one team and spinning the ball at 2,200 rpm, to spinning the ball at 2,600 or 2,700 in Houston, I know exactly what happened,”

Trevor Bauer, in the story, never mentioned Gerrit Cole specifically. The Post’s Joel Sherman asked Cole about the issue in February after signing a nine-year, $324 million deal with the Yankees. Cole did not respond to Bauer’s story, but regarding the notion, the Astros were better at creating a sticky product or teaching how to use that product, Cole repeated three times, “No.” Nevertheless, this could be a “sticky situation” for the New York Yankees pitcher.

This report was first issued overnight by the New York Post. This all came to light late yesterday due to court filings that were reported by the Los Angeles Times.


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