Your top Yankees links of the day:
Joel Sherman | New York Post: Aaron judge is one of the most polarizing players in Major League Baseball when he is healthy. Consistent injuries the past two seasons have derailed his progression, but he is still arguably the best talent on the Yankees and deserves the recognition. Already having a section carved out at Yankee Stadium, it would feel wrong if they let him walk in free agency and didnâ€™t pay him a boatload of cash.
However, some have been comparing Judge to former Yankee legend, Derek Jeter. The major difference is their health history, as Jeter was one of the more durable players in all of baseball. Judge only played in 102 games last season. Jeter only dipped below 119 games twice in his entire career, which spanned 20 seasons. Ultimately, the Yankees need to see more durability out of Judge if they are going to pay him the money he desires. The 2020 campaign will hopefully offer him the opportunity to prove his worth in the category.
Bob Klapisch | Nj.com: There were plenty of factors that played a part in Gerrit Cole signing with the Yankees this past off-season. Cole has been pitching and staying in shape in his backyard. He has spent the majority of his time in his Connecticut home, far from society, and enjoying extra time with his family. There were several conversations that ultimately convinced Gerrit to sign with the Bombers, one of them being about a specific bottle of wine he shared with his wife on their anniversary in Florence.
The Yankees brought that same bottle to that meeting, as a sign of respect and appreciation. Cole was impressed by that small detail, but it was Andy Pettitte that made the biggest difference, according to the star pitcher. Pettitte understood the situation Cole was currently in and offered substantial advice and direction throughout the process. That is what ultimately led to Cole signing with the Yankees on a massive nine-year, $324 million deal.
Joe LoGrippo | Pinstripe Alley:Â Have you ever wondered why the Yankees don’t allow facial hair? The story is fascinating and dates back to 1973 when George M. Steinbrenner saw some of his players looking bit scratchy during the National Anthem. It was specifically Bobby Murcer, Thurman Munson,Â and Sparky Lyle. This was how the policy as born and has been a staple of the Yankees’ dominance and class ever-since.