Let's pretend for a second that this was realistic. That the New York Yankees would even entertain trading Gerrit Cole after giving him $324 million back in 2020. There are three massive issues that would hold them back from actually following through with it.
WFAN's Evan Roberts -- don't forget, he's a die-hard Mets fan! -- proposed this over the airwaves this week. On the surface, it makes sense. The Yankees stink. They have a premier asset almost any contender would love to acquire. What's the holdup?!
For one, Cole has a full no-trade clause. He would have to approve any deal the Yankees agree to and would have the power to derail talks before they event start, so that's hardly encouraging to even begin this hypothetical exercise.
Secondly, he has an opt-out clause following the 2024 season. On top of having to get the trade approved with whatever team the Yankees are discussing with, there'd be another layer to that conversation to get Cole to opt in to the final four years of his contract (or, five, if the stipulation of the opt out still stands -- the Yankees can void it by adding one year and $36 million to his current deal).
And lastly, for the Yankees to get the necessary top talent in return for Cole like the Mets just did with Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer, Hal Steinbrenner would have to cover a significant portion of Cole's remaining money, which he 100% will NOT do. He won't! And don't think he will!
WFAN host says Yankees should trade Gerrit Cole but is forgetting Mets bias
Cohen is a different animal. The man had no problem spending close to $100 million to hand pick prospects of his choosing when shipping Verlander to the Astros and Scherzer to the Rangers. He had no problem giving both of them the highest AAV deals in MLB history.
Steinbrenner, on the other hand, stretched out the contracts of DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Hicks because he was worried about the luxury tax threshold. He inherited Josh Donaldson's money instead of going after a longer-term fit because there was heightened concern with Aaron Judge's impending free agency. He opted for Giancarlo Stanton over the next offseason's crop of top free agents because of obvious bidding war concerns (what other reason was there?). HE CUT PAYROLL AFTER THE 2017, WINDOW-OPENING SEASON.
Also, when was the last time Brian Cashman made a trade for a non-reliever that you approved of? Or that clearly shifted the dynamics of the roster at large? You'd probably have to rewind all the way to 2017 when his deadline deal with the White Sox ignited an ALCS run. Other than that? Nothing.
In theory, it could make sense for the Yankees to think about trading Cole to free up payroll, part with an asset that's useless if the offense isn't going to score runs, and spread that money out to acquire multiple mid-tier guys that could better balance the roster.
In practice? This is a disaster waiting to happen. And it usually would be for the Mets, too, if not for their new ownership's willingness to pretend money isn't real.