Yankees: Winter Meetings begin and organization has tunnel vision


With the MLB Winter Meetings kicking off in San Diego, CA, the Yankees are firmly locked on their No. 1 target, free-agent pitcher Gerrit Cole. Are we witnessing a C.C. Sabathia situation all over again?

According to Jon Heyman, the Yankees “total focus” is currently fixated on free-agent starting pitcher Gerrit Cole. And while the Angels, Dodgers, Phillies and even Rangers remain engaged in potentially securing the services of the 29-year-old right-hander, Heyman says, “the Yankees don’t want to be denied.”

This feels very reminiscent of the courtship of C.C. Sabathia prior to the 2009 season. You just knew once the Yanks put all their eggs in one basket — they were going to get their golden goose.

To that point, the recently retired Sabathia has let it be known that he’s already reached out to Cole — to let his fellow Californian know what pitching in pinstripes is genuinely like.

On the R2C2 podcast with host Ryan Ruocco, Sabathia had this to say about his “West Coast guy convos.”

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"This is crazy, this is shaping out like the offseason that I had. Everbody going crazy, like ‘blah, blah, blah, he don’t want to come here.’ You offer that m—–f—er enough money, he’s gonna want to come here. I’m speaking from experience.”"

Well, then, it’s a good thing Hal Steinbrenner has already approved a record-setting contract be offered to Cole because there is no doubt that the Newport Beach, CA native will far surpass David Price’s seven-year, $217 million guarantee.

Jeff Passan of ESPN reports, “teams will be making initial offers in the coming days,” so it’s only a matter of time before we find out how true to his word young Steinbrenner is.

Naturally, Cole could take his sweet time deciding between which lucrative contract he’ll ultimately accept. However, this is still a business — and with mega agent, Scott Boras by his side, should the Yankees come in with an offer exceeding $275 million, I don’t see him deliberating too long — for fear of the Yanks making a quick pivot to Boras’ other client, Stephen Strasburg.

Sure, the Yankees have said all the right things to butter Cole up — that he is the only free-agent on their mind — but come on, this is a business, and you can bet general manager Brian Cashman has a backup plan if he gets wind that things with Cole are headed sideways.

Next. Gerrit Cole is Yankees No. 1 offseason priority. dark

That’s Cashman’s job — to expect the unexpected — and the failure to land an ace this winter that potentially causes the 2020 season to end much the way 2019 did, could put Cash’s long-standing job in jeopardy.