New York Yankees are all in on Gerrit Cole after meeting in SoCal

New York Yankees, Gerrit Cole

The New York Yankees are reportedly all in on star pitcher Gerrit Cole this offseason, especially after meeting with him in Southern California on Tuesday afternoon. The former Houston Astros ace presents the best pitching option this offseason and will earn upwards of $30+ million per season in free agency.

With general manager Brian Cashman’s willingness to push past the luxury tax threshold, Cole has become a legitimate option for the Bombers. Considering their early pursuance, it’s likely the Yankees are willing to offer him a huge deal, which would give the team one of the best starting pitching rotations int he MLB as soon as ink touches paper.

The New York Yankees rotation would look like this:

  1. Gerrit Cole
  2. Luis Severino
  3. James Paxton
  4. Masahiro Tanaka
  5. Jordan Montgomery
  6. Domingo German
  7. J.A. Happ
  8. Michael King/Deivi Garcia

This would give the team one established ace and a player in Severino that has the quality to reach that level. Paxton and Tanaka are both reliable arms who pitched exceptionally well during the postseason. Beyond the first four, Montgomery and German are still developing but have shown No. 2 potential in their young careers.

Who met with Gerrit Cole?

The NY Post reported that Cashman, Aaron Boone, and new pitching coach Matt Blake were among the people participating in the meeting, which also included Cole and his wife, Amy. The Yankees are expected to meet with Stephen Strasburg on Wednesday, and it doesn’t seem as if owner Hal Steinbrenner is holding back from leaving a blank check in front of Cole.

The Yankees have been on the hunt for Cole for the better side of a decade. After picking him 28th overall in 2008, the former Astro elected to take his talents to UCLA. The Yanks attempted to lure Cole in after the 2017 season, but Houston’s offer enticed the Pittsburg Pirates. The current scenario presents the best chance for the Bombers to lure Cole to the Bronx.

Why the New York Yankees will go Gerrit Cole or go home

Could the Yankees pursue Gerrit Cole this offseason?

The New York Yankees always manage to surprise the masses when it comes to signing high-priced free agents. Whether it be trading for a Giancarlo Stanton type player or signing a Jacoby Ellsbury, unexpected bust type, GM Brian Cashman always keeps us guessing on his moves.

This offseason, the hype centers around top pitcher Gerrit Cole, who was recently knocked out of the World Series by the Washington Nationals. Cheating allegations against the Houston Astros immediately followed the team’s knockout.

Cole is looking to separate himself from the doomed organization, and he will dive into a free agent market that’s begging him to set a record-breaking contract. However, the Yankees are loaded in the pitching department even without Cole.

The New York Yankees starting rotation currently looks like this:

-Luis Severino

-James Paxton

-Domingo German (suspension)

-Masahiro Tanaka

-Jordan Montgomery

-J.A. Happ

-Deivi Garcia/Michael King

Even without the services of Cole, who’s expected to break $30 million per season, the Yankees still have a solid group of starters that can get them through the regular season in one piece. The issue is the postseason, where Paxton elevated his game, and Severino pitched several hearty innings. German was forced out due to domestic violence allegations, and Tanaka performed as his usual quality self. It’s not worth factoring Happ into the equation who barely saw the mound until a bullpen game against the Astros late in the ALCS.

Adding a pitcher that can nearly guarantee a win is what the Yankees are looking for, and it would increase the probability of winning the 2020 World Series 10-fold. Having a four-man rotation of Cole, Severino, Paxton, and Tanaka would allow the Bombers to keep their top options ready to go in the later games of the postseason. Minimizing fatigue is the trick here, and if Cashman is willing to push past the luxury tax, overspending on Cole should be an easy decision.

The Yankees enter the Zack Wheeler sweepstakes, but there’s competition

Will the New York Yankees land Zack Wheeler in free agency?

The Yankees made it apparent that all free agent players are being considered this offseason, even after owner Hal Steinbrenner stated that the starting pitching rotation looked good in 2019 and that he would feel comfortable if the regular season started today.

Here’s the exact quote:

“If the 2020 season was to start tomorrow, I would feel considerably more confident than I did a year ago at this time,’’ Steinbrenner said. “We will have both Severino and Montgomery back. We now know that [Domingo] German can pitch effectively at this level. And we know [James] Paxton can be the guy that we were hoping for when we made that trade. We have [Masahiro] Tanaka, [J.A.] Happ, [Jonathan] Loaisiga, and perhaps [Deivi] Garcia at some point. A very good rotation.’’

A few weeks later, he advocated for the pursuance of all free agents, ensuring his staff would be discussing all potential deals and the value of the player. Starters Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg, two of the best pitchers in baseball, dominate the headlines and rumors in regards to a pairing with the Bombers.

Steinbrenner stated in an interview with YES Network that “all options are open,” a bit different than his previous approach earlier on this offseason. However, interest is enough to get excited about, the reality of the Yankees signing Cole or Strasburg, not so much.

Steinbrenner has been willing to open up his checkbook for the outfield. Still, the starting rotation hasn’t seen many resources allocated towards it, so expecting the Yankees to drop over $25 million per season on a long-term deal for a top arm might be far-fetched. Alternatively, they could settle for a second-tier option like Zack Wheeler.

Wheeler, who featured on the New York Mets in 2019, has recorded an 8.9 fWAR over the last two seasons, which ranks as the ninth-best in all of baseball over that period. His career ERA of 3.77 isn’t in the ‘dominant’ range, but it’s better than any Yankee pitched last season.

The free-agent arm utilized his fastball frequently, consistently hitting in the upper-90s, which is precisely the type of pitcher the Yankees prefer. His secondary pitch is his sinker, which he throws nearly equally to his fastball. The sinker doesn’t have the same production as his fastball, but it hasn’t been detrimental to his performances.

There will be plenty of competition for Wheeler, as reports have indicated the Twins, White Sox, and Reds have all begun bidding on his services, with the Sox currently leading the pack with the highest offer, Ken Rosenthal stated with The Athletic.

Wheeler set career-highs in 2019 with 195.1 innings pitched and 195 strikeouts. He will cost far less than both Cole and Strasburg, but the Yankees would still have to pay a pretty penny for his services. Since Luis Severino will be returning in full-capacity, the Bombers anticipate him slotting into the ace position. Having numerous No. 2 options behind him would give them solid depth, especially in the case of injuries.

New York Yankees: Gerrit Cole is still a possibility

New York Yankees, Gerrit Cole

The New York Yankees are still in the run for top free agent Gerrit Cole this offseason. General manager Brian Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner have already said that they are carefully and seriously checking out all options, especially the big names.

“I think Cole will probably end up on one of the coasts,” MLB Network insider Jon Heyman said. Besides the New York Yankees, the Anaheim Angels are also a possibility to land Cole.

Cole finished his career-high year with a 20-5 record and held the lowest ERA in the American League at 2.50. He also held the most strikeouts in all of Major League Baseball at an astounding 326 over 212.1 innings pitched.

Cole is from Newport Beach, California, and it’s possible that he could want to pitch near home. In my opinion, it’s most likely going to be decided on who’s willing to pay the most. He’s coming off one of the best pitching years in MLB history and is looking for a contract around $280 million all the way up to possibly $300 million.

“The Yankees believe that he’s probably going to go to the Angels, but either of them would not shock me,” said Heyman.

One thing that I could see the Yankees hesitate with on Cole is the fact that they are depending on Deivi Garcia to be a star in the next few years. They could believe that he’s going to turn into a premier pitcher and to go over Cole isn’t a priority. However, it’s a win-now mentality with the Yankees and they still need to go after one of the big pitching free agents.

New York Yankees: Latest Gerrit Cole rumors – west coast teams in the mix

Will the New York Yankees pursue Gerrit Cole this offseason?

It was no surprise that star free agent pitcher Gerrit Cole would end up on one of the coasts, considering he grew up in California but was a massive New York Yankees fan. A team on the coast would give him everything he needs — access to the best of everything, but more importantly, the feeling of home.

Cole was quick to leave the Houston Astros after dominating for years at the top level, and he will now take his talents elsewhere in an aggressive market. The Yankees are in the race, said MLB Insider Jon Heyman, who also noted the Los Angeles Angels’ interest.

“I think Cole will probably end up on one of the coasts,” Heyman said on MLB Tonight.

“The Yankees believe that he’s probably going to go to the Angels, but either of them would not shock me.”

The Yankees are seeking asylum employing a cost-efficient route, and owner Hal Steinbrenner’s comments were clear that he believes the starting pitching rotation is pieced together.

With Luis Severino healthy and Jordan Montgomery, who has pitched two seasons of sub 4.00 ERA baseball over three campaigns, will also return in a full-capacity role. Realistically, Steinbrenner has a point. Domingo German won’t miss a majority of the 2020 season, giving the Yankees plenty of fire-power in the rotation.

The New York Yankees could enter the campaign with a staring rotation looking like this:

  1. Luis Severino
  2. James Paxton
  3. Masahiro Tanaka
  4. Jordan Montgomery
  5. Domingo German
  6. J.A. Happ
  7. Michael King/Deivi Garcia

Upgrading the bullpen might be more of a pressing goal for Brian Cashman, who saw Dellin Betances work his way back from numerous injuries just to tear his Achilles Tendon in his September 15 debut. If the Bombers don’t re-sign Betances on a one-year deal, they could allocate more funds towards the bullpen, which wouldn’t be a bad idea.

However, signing a player like Gerrit Cole or Stephen Strasburg would immediately give the Yankees one of the best starting rotations in baseball. While Cole did state he didn’t favor any team going into free agency, rumors have bubbled to the surface that the Angels or Dodgers could be in the lead for his services.

New York Yankees Only Need To Sign One Starting Pitcher

Will the New York Yankees pursue Gerrit Cole this offseason?

Once again, there are high expectations for the New York Yankees in free agency. Fans want the team to sign both Stephen Strasburg and Gerrit Cole. However, the Yankees only really need to sign one of them. Zack Wheeler and Madison Bumgarner could be potential options of the team can’t sign Strasburg or Cole.

Why Only One?

There are two main factors why the Yankees should only sign one starting pitcher, and they are roster space and money.

The Yankees have four definitive starters in James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka, Luis Severino, and JA Happ. Jordan Montgomery could come into play, but he will likely become the long reliever. I guess you could throw Domingo German into the mix, but it’s unclear if and when he will play again due to his suspension for domestic abuse.

Since a team only needs five starters, you keep the four listed above and sign Cole or Strasburg. It doesn’t matter to me on which they sign, since both are righties in the prime of their career. Montgomery could be the “sixth starter” when there are injuries, and be the long reliever otherwise. The team could look into trading Domingo German if and when he is reinstated.

The other factor is the cost.

If the Yankees signed Cole and Strasburg, they would have little to no money left and would risk exceeding into the luxury tax to fulfill other needs.

The team could pursue Anthony Rendon and Mike Moustakas in free agency, along with a few middle relievers. The team wants to fill all needs and have some money left over for in-season signings and for emergencies.

It would be better off if the yankees only signed one starting pitcher to save money and to continue to use current resources.

The Yankees need to be worried about Hal Steinbrenner holding them back

New York Yankees, Brian Cashman

General manager Brian Cashman may hold the reigns to the sled that’s the New York Yankees, but owner Hal Steinbrenner is back at headquarters relaying approval for every maneuver Cashman looks to make.

Whether it be letting Didi Gregorius walk in free agency or the signing of a big-name starting pitcher, both are heavily involved in the process, which should scare fans.

Steinbrenner stated earlier in the offseason:

“For the most part, I think our starting pitching was good this year,’’ Steinbrenner said. “Even missing [Luis] Severino and [Jordan] Montgomery [for most or all of the season due to injuries].”

“If the 2020 season was to start tomorrow, I would feel considerably more confident than I did a year ago at this time,’’ Steinbrenner said. “We will have both Severino and Montgomery back. We now know that [Domingo] German can pitch effectively at this level. And we know [James] Paxton can be the guy that we were hoping for when we made that trade. We have [Masahiro] Tanaka, [J.A.] Happ, [Jonathan] Loaisiga, and perhaps [Deivi] Garcia at some point. A very good rotation.’’

This screams, “road-work ahead!” If you’ve ever been driving on the highway and been forced to slow down because Hal Steinbrenner is laying down new concrete and not signing starting pitchers to bolster the rotation, raise your hand. However, it’s fair to consider his previous signings of Masahiro Tanaka and trading for James Paxton, who emerged as an ace during the latter portion of the 2019 season.

Hal isn’t wrong. The team will gain back several strong arms in Luis Severino and Jordan Montgomery, two pitchers who, at the top of their game, can be extremely effective. Severino is capable of being a No. 1 option, and Paxton has established himself as a No. 2. Monty has two sub-4.00 ERAs under his belt in three years, and they have youngsters like Deivi Garcia/Michael King preparing to make the jump.

The Yankees need to do what’s best for the team:

Despite the re-tooling of the starting rotation with current Yankees players, adding a dominant arm like Gerrit Cole would immediately make the unit one of the best in the league. It would also give manager Aaron Boone the ability to develop his youngsters in a bullpen role, allowing them to refine their skills and work inning-by-inning slowly.

The price-tag for Cole would be the intimidating factor, as he’s set to earn over $200 million in a multi-year deal that stretches $30+ million per season. That’s a staggering price, and the Bombers have had lousy luck with big-contracts the past few seasons. Jacoby Ellsbury’s $26 million in remaining salary attests to that statement, in addition to the two years he missed (2018-19). Factor in Giancarlo Stanton as well, who missed all of 2019 with multiple injuries.

Cole, however, has had a clean bill of health for the majority of his career, so the Yankees can be confident he won’t miss extended time. Strasburg, on the other hand, cannot be trusted to finish a full season without picking up minor ailments. If health is a concern for Steinbrenner, he will have to spend a bit more for Cole, but his team would benefit exponentially from his services. Realistically, the Yankees would be in great shape to compete for a World Series title in 2020.

The Yankees can’t let Jacoby Ellsbury scare them away from top pitcher

New York Yankees, Jacoby Ellsbury

With the Yankees dumping $26 million in salary next season after cutting Jacoby Ellsbury, their mentality towards splashing big-money on a premium starting pitcher could be battered. Factor in the Giancarlo Stanton contract and his injury-plagued 2019 season and unloading $30 million for an option like Gerrit Cole begins to seem like a bad idea.

However, Cole’s injury history is thin, and signing him would immediately bolster the starting pitching rotation and make them one of the best in baseball. General manager Brian Cashman shouldn’t be worried about the luxury tax if he’s keen on competing for a championship next season.

However, owner Hal Steinbrenner was quick to announce the fact that the starting rotation is established, despite several players coming off injuries being featured next season. Luis Severino started only five games last season while Jordan Montgomery missed the entire campaign, failing to leave any significant mark.

The Yankees need to temper their expectation and aim high:

Expecting them to return and be effective is optimistic, at least in Montgomery’s case. In his three seasons, though, Monty has earned two sub-4.00 ERAs, which provides excitement. The Yankees shouldn’t shy away from adding a star pitcher at the expense of Montgomery’s return, and considering CC Sabathia’s retirement, he will essentially be filling that hole.

Another factor is the youngsters — Michael King and Deivi Garcia, who are both fantastic pitchers with minimal to no Major League experience. We can expect Cashman to justify the rotation with quality youth, an unproven commodity at this point. Again, it leads us back to a sure-fire decision to sign Cole or Stephen Strasburg.

The price differential will be a few million, but Cole’s impressive health history should make him worth every penny, and considering his dominance in every phase of the game. Slotting him in at ace and having James Paxton and Luis Severino close behind would give the Bombers a fantastic opportunity to make a run at the 2020 World Series, and they wouldn’t even have to cheat to do it.

New York Yankees: Make Early Movement

Could the Yankees pursue Gerrit Cole this offseason?

There are a handful of big free agents on the market this winter, and many of them that the New York Yankees would love to sign.

Instead of waiting to the later part of winter to make moves, the Yankees should start taking serious action NOW. With everybody wrapped up in the Astros cheating allegations, there is no better time to recruit free agents and give them offers in pretty lowkey way.

They could try to keep as quiet as possible, but if information leaks out about them making early moves, then it would quickly put pressure on other teams to match and exceed the Yankees offers.

The first order of business would be retaining Brett Gardner and figuring out the whole outfield situation. If they have interest in resigning Cameron Maybin, they could probably hold off a bit on him. He likely won’t sign a contract until February.

Once they get Gardner locked up, it would be time to decide who they are going to offer on. I would love to see them get Anthony Rendon, but the likelihood of him leaving the Nationals is slim to none. So, they should try and make quick offers on Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg.

I hope that Brian Cashman doesn’t try to be cheap again and lowball them. He needs to offer both pitchers solid contracts early into free agency. It puts so much pressure on other teams to match, and it would be very tempting for them to sign when they see a huge offer.

All I’m saying is that if the Yankees start making offers early into the offseason, they may have a better chance to sign the top free agents.

Yankees’ Brian Cashman is certainly preparing to lowball Gerrit Cole in free agency

The New York Yankees could pursue Gerrit Cole this offseason.

When speaking about the potential of signing a big-name free agent pitcher, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman favored the word “culture.” The idea of culture is always the Yankees’ way of lowballing free agent prospects, attempting to sell them on the perennial success of the organization and not the zero’s at the end of the contract.

However, there will be plenty of competition, which will drive up the price for Cole and Strasburg. Cashman will have to be comfortable pushing past the luxury tax if he wishes to grab a top arm to bolster the starting pitching rotation, something he’s been cautious about in recent years.

The Yankees are making early moves:

“It’s so early in the process in my conversations with the personnel,’’ Cashman said. “Clearly, the bigger the name — and they’ve earned the right — the bigger the contract, the bigger the expectation, the bigger the money. There’s gonna be opportunities for some people to take advantage of great performances in this marketplace. They’ve earned that right.”

The Yankees have already talked with Cole and Strasburg’s agent, Scott Boras, in an attempt to gauge their price-tags. It’s expected that Cole will land over $200 million in a multi-year deal while Strasburg lands a bit lower.

“We’re just gonna put our best foot forward, making sure we can share who we are and what we represent,’’ Cashman said Thursday. “Not just with the contract and the offer. We’ll try to make sure they understand what our culture is — along with a winning contract offer to make sure to try to win the day. Even that doesn’t guarantee anything.”

Investing that much money into a starter requires guaranteed success. High-end outings, multiple innings, the ability to bounce back, rack up strikeouts, and perform during the postseason are all traits the Yankees need to add to their rotation. The return of Luis Severino and Jordan Montgomery should assist in this facet, but Cashman is reportedly interested in strengthening the bullpen, which could be a deterrent to helping the starters.

The Yankees already have Severino, Montgomery, Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka, Domingo Geman, and other youth options to utilize in 2020, but adding a top gun would undoubtedly make a difference. It all boils down to how much Cashman is willing to spend.