Hot stove season is officially here in the MLB, but Yankees fans know that General Manager Brian Cashman is pretty conservative with the team’s salary during this time of the year.
This offseason might present a different narrative.
Gerrit Cole is a free agent. Cole is the undisputed top pitcher on the market.
The rumors are swirling and from what I’ve been hearing, the Cole Train may park itself in the Bronx for years to come.
Cole has been freakishly good ever since he was dealt from the Pittsburgh Pirates to the Houston Astros nearly two years ago.
Cole had a 35-10 record in two seasons with Houston. Along with that he posted a 2.69 ERA, 0.964 WHIP, with 602 strikeouts: lethal stuff that’ll earn him a historic contract this winter.
This past Tuesday, Cashman, along with Manager Aaron Boone, Yankees legend Andy Pettitte and new Pitching Coach Matt Blake flew to Southern California to meet with Cole.
Cole is from Southern California and it was believed he would want to sign with a team out west so he can pitch close to home.
Tuesday’s meeting said otherwise.
According to CBS Sports, Cole assured the Yankees that there was no regional bias when considering where he’ll play ball next year.
According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, there are two preferences that Cole has. He wants to win and he wants to establish himself as the best pitcher of this generation.
It seems there is no better place to do that than the bright lights of New York. The Yankees are one of the few teams that have the money to throw at Cole, and they are by far, the most complete team that will be offering him a contract.
We’ve seen this before. Prior to the 2009 season, C.C. Sabathia was one of the top pitchers on the market. He was considered a west coast guy and it was assumed he would be pitching for a team in Los Angeles.
According to Sabathia, he would have been pitching for the Dodgers if it weren’t for Cashman making a trip to Oakland, California to meet with CC and his family.
Taking a flight across the country to meet a player at their own home means the Yankees are serious.
History seems to be repeating itself.
Shortly after the meeting with Cole, owner of the Yankees, Hal Steinbrenner, granted permission to offer the stud pitcher a record setting deal. He also marked Cole as the Yankees top priority this offseason.
Pitchers are already going quick in this year’s free agency. Cole Hamels has signed with the Braves, and the Yankees backup plan pitcher Zach Wheeler, has signed with the Phillies. Madison Bumgarner has been speculated to sign with a team this weekend.
Besides these three, Cole and Stephen Strasburg are the undoubted best pitchers on the market, and all eyes will be set on them.
The New York Yankees will be all in on Cole this winter. Adding him to the rotation will without a doubt turn the Yankees into the early favorite for the 2020 World Series.
After drafting him in the first round of the 2008 MLB Draft and having him slip away to go play college ball at UCLA, the Yankees may finally be able to land the Hall of Fame caliber player they have wanted.
Oh and let’s not forget, Cole was a big Yankee fan growing up.
For comments/questions about this story, email firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @TheWhitOnline.