Report: Yankees making Gerrit Cole a top priority
Gerrit Cole is headed for a massive payday in free agency on the heels of the best season of his career, and the New York Yankees want to be the team to award him with it.
The Yankees are making Cole a top priority this winter and are planning to sit down with him this week ahead of next week’s winter meetings, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports. They will also meet with Stephen Strasburg, but the Yankees have tried to acquire Cole in the past and have long been enamored with the right-hander.
Cole was drafted by the Yankees in the first round of the 2008 MLB Draft, but they were unable to sign him. He attended UCLA instead and signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates after being drafted by them in 2011.
The Los Angeles Angels are also expected to pursue Cole, and the 29-year-old is originally from Newport Beach. Even one of his former Houston Astros teammates hinted that Cole was likely to sign with a west coast team, though Cole did grow up a Yankees fan since his father was raised in New York.
While the Yankees can never be counted out for a top free agent, they are not the only team with Cole at the top of their wish list this winter. Between the competition from teams with deep pockets and Cole’s affinity for the west coast, the odds of the ace ending up in pinstripes may not be all that great.
Cole went 20-5 with a 2.50 ERA with the Astros last season. He was also dominant in the playoffs, posting a 4-1 record with a 1.72 ERA in five starts.