Yankees: Gerrit Cole is unlikely to sign new deal before January


Yankees free agent target Gerrit Cole is expected to break records with his next contract but it could be a while before we see him sign his new deal. According to Andy Martino of SNY, Cole’s agent Scott Boras is indicating to clubs that the star ace is unlikely to sign anywhere before January.

On Monday Yankees GM Brian Cashman confirmed that the team plans on talking with both Cole and Stephen Strasburg, the top two free agents starters available this offseason. The news comes as no surprise to anyone nor does Martino’s report that Cole is probably going to wait until the new year to make his big decision.

Over the past couple of years, some of Boras’ top free-agent clients (J.D Martinez, Eric Hosmer, Bryce Harper) haven’t signed their new deals until February so I don’t think anyone expects Cole to be much different. As for Strasburg and Anthony Rendon who are also Boras clients, their timetables for a decision should come much sooner according to Martino.

So how will this news affect the Yankees pursuit of Cole? I believe it benefits them. They’re a team that has the money to sign him and they can afford to wait around for him to make his decision. Signing him should be their top priority and they don’t really have any other pressing needs they have to address this offseason.

The same can’t be said about teams like the Angels, White Sox or Phillies who are also expected to pursue Cole this winter. Those clubs need more than just Cole if they want to contend in 2020 and might not be able to afford to wait to throw all their money at him because some of their other top free-agent targets could be gone by then.

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The Yankees I’m sure would prefer to sign Cole sooner rather than later, but for the most part, their roster as currently constructed is more than good enough to contend in 2020. They might not be considered the favorites to win the World Series if the season started today but they are certainly in the mix.

As Cashman noted at the GM Meetings in Arizona on Monday “it’s hard to improve on a 103-win team.” Sure the Yanks could use a left-handed bat or another reliever for the bullpen, but they can address those needs and still have enough money to go all-in on Cole if they’re willing to blow past the luxury tax threshold.

Outside of Strasburg, it’s hard to imagine the Yanks offering a huge long-term deal to anyone else on the free-agent market and signing this year’s World Series MVP doesn’t look likely at the moment. That’s why its worth the risk to wait as long as they have to for Cole instead of committing big money to other free agent starters like Zack Wheeler or Madison Bumgarner.

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While they wait, they can still attempt to bring back Brett Gardner on a one-year deal and try to convince Didi Gregorius to do the same. Then when the time comes to go after Cole they might be the only team still in the mix to sign him that has enough money to offer him the deal he’s looking for.