The Yankees are looking to sign a big starter. However, here’s why it’s safe to assume Gerrit Cole won’t be donning the pinstripes in 2020.
The Yankees have been linked to top free-agent starter Gerrit Cole for years, which would lead many to think the Yankees are poised to make a run at the imposing right-hander. Having said that, for a plethora of reasons, I, nor should you expect the Yankees to bring in the Cy Young runner-up this upcoming offseason.
Yankees Don’t Wanna Spend?
Since Masahiro Tanaka, the Yankees haven’t splurged on a big-time starting pitcher, letting guys like Patrick Corbin and Max Scherzer go by the boards. They have also let guys like Justin Verlander and Cole themselves get dealt to none other than the dreaded Houston Astros, leaving the Yankee brass under fire, and rightfully so.
With this noted, I expect that trend to continue through this offseason. Gerrit Cole will probably command at least seven years and well over $200 million, and, quite frankly, the Pinstripers are priced out in that range. Having getting burned by big contracts in the past, the Yankees seem reluctant to dump a boatload of money into someone’s lap with the possibility they fizzle out in their 5th season in Pinstripes. I do think the Yankees will make an offer, and a solid offer, at that, to Cole, but in the end, the Bombers will be scared to go above and beyond.
It Takes Two to Tango
We know the Bombers (to an extent) want Cole, but how badly does Cole want the Yankees? For a few months now, we’ve heard the rumblings that Cole may prefer to pitch on the west coast where he grew up, and with the Los Angeles Angels trying to win a championship while they have the best player in baseball, it’s no surprise the Angels are reportedly willing to spend “whatever it takes” for the ace.
Now, I don’t think it’s that Cole doesn’t want to go to the Yanks, more so he’d simply prefer playing on the West Coast. With that said, the team that offers him the most money will most likely get Cole, barring how close the two offers are. For example, if the Angels offered Cole $250 million over seven years and the Yankees offered $260 million over seven years, I could see Cole leaving $10 million on the table to head out west. However, if the Yankees are far and away the highest offer, I’d be shocked if Cole doesn’t take his money and heads to the Bronx.
With a lot of talent on the free-agent market, I wouldn’t expect the Yankees to sign Cole, despite their interest in him. I’d be much more expecting a guy like Zack Wheeler to come to the Yankees instead, barring his price tag and familiarity in the Big Apple.