As the offseason beings to heat up, the New York Yankees have confirmed to have interest in Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg.
With the offseason beginning to get underway, the league’s executives come together this week for the annual General Manager meetings in Scottsdale, AZ. The New York Yankees are represented by Brian Cashman, who touched on a few topics before the week got started.
While the Winter Meetings tend to cover more off-field issues, trade talks always have potential. When all 30 general managers are in the same room, this tends to happen. But Cashman also discussed with the media the potential in free agency. Most notably, he confirmed the Bronx Bombers will be in talks with the two biggest names in the market.
That would be starting pitchers Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg. Though most expected the Yankees to be in on them, Cashman confirmed there will be talks with their agents.
“Of course we’re going to talk to Strasburg and we’ll talk to Cole. We’ll talk to the higher-end guys, clearly, and have conversations, and we’ll also talk about some surprise guys, I’m sure,” Cashman said after the first day of general manager meetings. “It’s going to take two to tango, so we’ll see where it takes us.”
Cashman confirming interest isn’t all that significant. Most expected them to be in the market for one of the stud pitchers. However, this is a bit different than the 2018 offseason. When Manny Machado and Bryce Harper were eligible for free agency, it wasn’t as clear if the Yankees had interest. At least now we know Cashman will be reaching out to Scott Boras, who represents both Cole and Strasburg.
That doesn’t mean the Yankees will completely disregard the luxury tax. It still remains to be seen if Cashman will get the green light from Hal Steinbrenner to pursue Cole and Strasburg without restrictions.
Cole, 29, had a stellar 2019 season. He went 20-5 with a 2.50 ERA while logging 326 strikeouts in 212.1 innings pitched. He is the obvious top choice for the Yankees, but his desired contract could be north of $300 million. We don’t quite know if Cashman is willing to hand out that kind of money.
Strasburg, 31, also had a strong season. He went 18-6 with a 3.32 ERA while recording 251 strikeouts in 209 innings pitched. He opted out of his contract with World Series champion Washington Nationals this offseason.
This is shaping up to be an intriguing offseason. And while it isn’t clear if the Yankees will completely open their wallets, we at least know there is interest in the big fish hitting the market.