Geographically, the New York Yankees did have a big hurdle to get over in the Gerrit Cole sweepstakes.
The Yankees, Los Angeles Angels and Los Angeles Dodgers were the three teams reportedly most in the mix for the star free agent, who ultimately chose the Yankees late Tuesday night on a nine-year $324 million deal. Given Cole is from California, the Yankees had to sell him not just on pitching for the Yankees, but also moving out to New York.
It sounds like general manager Brian Cashman and Co. brought out the big guns to make the club’s pitch.
According to YES Network’s Jack Curry, who spoke to agent Scott Boras, it was Hal Steinbrenner and Andy Pettite who sold Cole on the Yankees.
Just spoke to Scott Boras. Asked the agent what helped make Gerrit Cole choose the Yankees and he said, “ Five conversations with Hal Steinbrenner,” and “Andy Pettitte.” Boras was impacted by Hal’s persistence and Cole was influenced by Andy’s stories about pitching in NY.
— Jack Curry (@JackCurryYES) December 11, 2019
Cashman will forever be indebted to those two for landing Cole, who is coming off a 20-5 season with the Houston Astros in which he posted a 2.50 ERA. The Yankees rotation, for now, includes Cole, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton and J.A. Happ. Domingo German likely will be suspended at least for the start of the season, while Jordan Montgomery also is an option.
Thumbnail photo via Erik Williams/USA TODAY Sports Images