Entering the offseason there were rumors that top free-agent starter Gerrit Cole would only sign with a west coast team because of his Southern California roots. On Tuesday the Yankees had their first face to face meeting with Cole and according to reports, he assured the New York brass that west coast bias will not factor into his final decision.
The Yankees still have some work to do to finalize a deal with Cole, but their odds of landing him have suddenly increased significantly. Jon Heyman of the MLB Network tweeted about New York’s productive meeting with Cole on Wednesday and later followed that up with another tweet stating that the ace right-hander re-assured them he has “no west coast bias.”
This is potentially huge news for the Yankees and puts to rest the narrative that Cole would only sign with a team from California. I had a hard time believing that was true in the first place knowing that New York would be all in on Cole and do whatever it takes to add him to the top of their rotation.
The 29-year-old All-Star is clearly the Yankees top priority this offseason and they’re putting a full-court press on to sign him. The team’s contingent in attendance to recruit Cole during Tuesday’s meeting in Southern California included GM Brian Cashman, manager Aaron Boone, new pitching coach Matt Blake and Yankees legend Andy Pettitte.
More from Yankees News
- Did Yankees troll Jon Heyman with Aaron Judge contract tweet?
- Matt Carpenter leaving Yankees for massive raise is hard to argue with
- Yankees top prospects butt heads after Giants’ gritty win over Commanders
- CC Sabathia defends Yankees’ massive Aaron Judge contract
- Scott Boras closed Yankees-Carlos Rodón deal from Fenway Park, put cherry on top
The fact that they all traveled out west to his home speaks volumes about how serious their pursuit is. Back in 2008, many believed CC Sabathia would only sign with a west coast team but after Cashman and company visited him at his Northern California home CC changed his mind and says if that never happened he probably wouldn’t have signed with New York.
The Yankees are hoping the same blueprint works with Cole, but eventually, it’s going to come down to money and Cole is projected to earn a contract worth at least $250M. The LA Angels are in the mix to sign him as well and have the money to get him but if all offers are equal the Yanks could be favored because they’re in a better position to win in 2020 and beyond.
George King of the New York Post revealed on Wednesday that Cole prefers signing with a team that has a chance to win consistently, no matter the city. Again, if that’s the case you have to like the Yankees chances, however, the Dodgers are also said to still be in the mix and if they open up their checkbook things could get very interesting.