When the best arm in baseball takes his talents to the free-agent market, every competitive team’s ears prick up with interest. The New York Yankees have more than just an interest in Gerrit Cole this offseason, as reports have stated they are all in on the World Series runner up from 2019.
Cole had evaded the Yankees all these years from his 2008 decision to go to UCLA instead of joining the Yankees farm system and again in 2017 when he was traded from the Pittsburgh Pirates to the Houston Astros. You know what they say, “third time is a charm,” and the Bombers are in a position to finally lure him to the Bronx, a place where players live and die.
There’s little proof to justify Cole failing in the Bronx, considering he earned a 2.50 ERA and 0.895 WHIP in Houston last season. He dominated in the postseason as well, posting a 1.10 ERA over four games. He’s not opposed to big-time games and even flourishes in the spotlight.
The Yankees have one significant advantage:
Success. Cole wants to join a team that will be competitive for the next decade, and the Yankees represent that team, with one of the league’s best prospect farms and active-level ball-clubs. With Deivi Garcia, Estevan Florial, Michael King, Jasson Dominguez, and Luis Gil, all waiting in the wings, Cole can have the peace of mind to know the organization will be playing at a high level for many years.
The expectation is that talks with Cole could extend into January, but GM Brian Cashman has received approval from owner Hal Steinbrenner to open the checkbook for the ace. This means super-agent Scott Boras will likely milk the Yankees for over $250 million, $30+ million per season on a record-breaking deal.
During the two side’s talks on Tuesday afternoon, money wasn’t spoken about, but the Yankees brought along pitching coach Matt Blake and Andy Pettite to help smooth over the negotiations. Cole is known for soaking up knowledge and a forward-thinking pitching approach, which might attest to why the Yankees fell in love with Blake and his offerings.