Major League Baseball’s Winter Meetings are underway in San Diego, and with that, the Gerrit Cole sweepstakes are about to explode.
As first reported by ESPN’s Jeff Passan, interested teams will start making their offers for the star free-agent pitcher beginning this week.
But the New York Yankees are already getting the ball rolling.
According to Bob Klapisch of the New York Times, the Yankees have extended a seven-year, $245 million offer for Cole.
The Yankees met with the 29-year-old right-hander earlier this month in California — which included some star power in the form of franchise-great Andy Pettitte.
In the following days, it was discovered that general manager Brian Cashman gained approval from Yankees ownership to offer Cole a record-setting contract.
Cole’s potential price tag was believed to be a point of contention for Hal Steinbrenner, who made his desire to stay near the luxury tax threshold known over the past year.
That sudden frugality was believed to be the reason why the Yankees missed out on both Manny Machado and Bryce Harper last winter.
But the 2019 season further confirmed that the Bronx Bombers need a qualified, bona fide ace to put them over the top in the World Series hunt.
Coming off a 20-5 campaign with a 2.05 ERA and 326 strikeouts with the Houston Astros, Cole would be everything the Yankees ever wanted and their rotation (at the moment) would look something like this:
Ask any Yankees fan and they’ll tell you Cole is worth the money.
But Cole’s price could skyrocket even more if a bidding war ensues. The Los Angeles Angels and Dodgers — both with plenty of money to spend and could offer eight or nine years— are also considered strong favorites for Cole, who is a California kid.
It’s worth noting, however, that Cole assured the Yankees during their meeting that there will be no “West Coast bias” when making his decision, per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman.
Shortly after the Astros lost the 2019 World Series to the Washington Nationals, outfielder Josh Reddick told the media that Cole would love to go out West.
Per multiple reports, the Texas Rangers and Philadelphia Phillies have also been linked.