The New York Yankees started off the week with a bang, especially after news regarding Gerrit Cole’s initial offer of seven-years, $275 million. Owner Hal Steinbrenner gave authorization to GM Brian Cashman to push past the luxury tax threshold in an attempt to claim the best pitcher in baseball of the free agency market.
Cole was stellar in 2019, logging a 2.50 ERA, 326 strikeouts, and a 0.895 WHIP. Adding an arm of his quality to a rotation already including Luis Severino, James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka, Jordan Montgomery, and Domingo German will give the Yankees one of the best units in baseball.
However, the Winter Meeting always holds surprises, and reports of the Los Angeles Dodgers also engaging in talks with Cole should temper any expectation. This is not a done deal, but the Yankees have made Cole a “total focus” in recent days after he evaded them in 2008 and again in 2017.
New York Yankees rumors of the day, per Pinstripe Alley:
- A rival executive told Jayson Stark of The Athletic (subscription required) that the bidding for Gerrit Cole would finish in the range of $250 million to $280 million over eight years. That sounds doable for the Yankees, doesn’t it?
- On the subject of Cole, Joel Sherman thinks the bidding war for him could pit the Yankees against the Dodgers. He also reports that the Yankees may feel comfortable blowing past the luxury tax knowing it will be adjusted in the next CBA.
- The Reds still have Didi Gregorius on their radar, but they’re not sure if the financials will work, says Jon Heyman. Brian Cashman recently mentioned that he has kept in touch with Sir Didi’s representatives.
A couple teams are interested in Brett Gardner on a multiyear deal but Gardy, a Yankee since 2009, prefers to remain a Yankee. So still talking.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 9, 2019
The Reds have been very interested in Gregorius’ services ever since the Yankees declined his qualifying offer, and it seems more likely he could take his talents and likeness to Cincinnati, his first club. The Bombers seem more inclined to elevate Gleyber Torres to the shortstop position and make him the featured option. Having DJ LeMahieu at second-base helps them make this decision with confidence.