Much like the Los Angeles Dodgers, the New York Yankees regularly are connected to marquee free agents. Although both big-market teams have exercised a bit of financial restrain in recent year, this winter is shaping to tell a different story.
The Dodgers and Yankees have been among the teams connected to Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg, the top starting pitchers available in free agency. L.A. also is believed to have interest in Anthony Rendon.
Cole has reportedly met with multiple clubs, and while the Yankees were part of that, they are thought to have some concern the right-hander prefers to return to Southern California.
Nonetheless, the Yankees have Cole firmly in their sights and are prepared to submit a record-breaking contract offer, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan:
The New York Yankees have made signing right-hander Gerrit Cole their clear offseason priority and have ownership-level approval to offer him a record-setting deal, sources familiar with their plans told ESPN.
The Yankees’ fondness for the 29-year-old Cole, whose fantastic 2019 season with the Houston Astros set him up to smash David Price’s record contract for a pitcher of $217 million, was only reinforced during a meeting with him earlier this week, sources said.
The Yankees selected Cole with the 28th overall pick in the 2008 MLB Draft but he elected to attend UCLA. Three years later he was taken by the Pittsburgh Pirates with the No. 1 selection.
Cole enjoyed individual success during his tenure with the Pirates and took a step forward after being traded to the Houston Astros. He was a two-time All-Star and went a combined 35-10 with a 2.68 ERA over the past two years with the Astros.
In October they, along with the Dodgers and Yankees, were identified as the primary suitors for the 29-year-old. However, that’s now become the L.A. Angels and Yankees, with the Dodgers on the periphery.
The Angels have a greater need for a starting pitcher than the Dodgers and Yankees do, but how aggressive they may be is unclear.
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