While the two bottles of wine the New York Yankees brought to their free agency meeting with Gerrit Cole this offseason played a significant part in luring him to the Bronx, the secret ingredient to pushing the deal over the hump was none other than former pitcher, Andy Pettitte.
The New York Yankees played the talks perfectly:
Pettitte was/is one of Cole’s favorite players from the last generation, and he continues to be an inspiration in his life, which is exactly why the Yankees brought him in to chat with the league’s best pitcher.
The impression Pettitte left on Cole had his head swirling and nearly convinced that the Yankees were the right choice. The bottles of wine, which matched the same bottles he enjoyed during his anniversary in Florence with his wife, helped secure Cole for nine-years, $324 million.
Gerrit made it clear that Pettitte’s influence was a significant reason he guaranteed at least five years on the East Coast.
â€œWhen Andy pitches anything, whether it be comes to the Yankees (for a meeting with a free agent) or a game in the postseason, he usually gets the W, and he did again this time,â€ Cole said.
â€œItâ€™s crazy for me to realize that I had that kind of impact,â€ Pettitte told the YES Network on Yankees Hot Stove. â€œIâ€™m glad that I could help him. Iâ€™m glad that I was able to be there and the Yankees wanted me to be there to have kind of a playerâ€™s perspective on it.â€
â€œIt was a pretty easy sell for me as far as going into the team issues, management, the Steinbrenners, our coaching staff led by Aaron Boone,â€ Pettitte said. â€œNew York is a great situation right now. Itâ€™s a wonderful place to play. So thatâ€™s what weâ€™re expecting, thatâ€™s for sure.
â€œHeâ€™s a guy that doesnâ€™t look like heâ€™s fazed by October, which is a very important thing, especially playing in New York. And what weâ€™re planning on and wanting to do over the next decade … hopefully he get us a few championships by then.â€
â€œIf you want to win championships now, I feel like this is the spot for you.”
Cole is focused on bringing home championship rings to the Yankees organization, and the team has taken all precautions to increase their probability of success moving forward. They will also gain back several injured players in Giancarlo Stanton and Miguel Andujar.
The 2020 season seems like it’s going to be an exciting one full of success, but it all boils down to health.