Yankees brought Andy Pettitte to free agent meeting with Gerrit Cole 2019-12-052019-12-05
Signs suggest Yankees intend to make big push for Astros’ Gerrit Cole
Gerrit Cole went through a lot to wear the pinstripes eighteen years ago. Then an 11-year old fan at the 2001 World Series in Phoenix wearing a replica jersey, Cole remembered how Diamondbacks fans threw peanuts and hurled insults at him that day. Now, the Yankees have to find a way to get Cole to want to wear the pinstripes again. Hal Steinbrenner gave Yankees fans hope on that topic this week. In an online tease for an interview with the YES Network, Steinbrenner said that “all options are open as far as I’m concerned,” when asked about aggressively going after top-line free agents like Cole and Stephen Strasburg.
The New York Yankees have made Gerrit Cole their top priority this offseason, and they are breaking out the big guns in an attempt to convince the right-hander that he belongs in pinstripes.
The Yankees sat down for a meeting with Cole this week, and ESPN’s Buster Olney says they brought legendary pitcher Andy Pettitte with them.
In the meetings with the mega free agents, teams identify ways to make the player feel most comfortable — and along those lines, Andy Pettitte was part of the Yankees' contingent that sat down with Gerrit Cole. A very familiar face in HOU, where Cole pitched the last two years.
Yankees to meet with Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg ahead of Winter Meetings
The Yankees could be looking to go big this offseason, as they will meet with Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg.Ultimately, the Yankees were successful in wooing Sabathia – who preferred to pitch in his home state of California – to the Bronx with a seven-year, $161 million deal.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 5, 2019
There are a lot of reasons speaking with Pettitte might make an impact on Cole. For starters, Pettitte pitched for the Astros for several seasons between his stints in New York, so Cole may be familiar with him from his time in Houston. Cole also grew up a Yankees fan. While he is from California, his father was raised in Syracuse. That means Cole, who is 29, would have been a kid when Pettitte was helping the Yankees win four World Series titles between 1996 and 2000.
Even one of Cole’s teammates in Houston predicted the ace would sign with a West Coast team because of his deep ties to the region, but Cole reportedly assured the Yankees during their meeting that he does not have any West Coast bias. If he truly does have an open mind about his free agency, having Pettitte pitch him on the Yankees certainly can’t hurt.
Yankees GM rappels down building, is greeted with 'sign Gerrit Cole' message
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Report: Yankees can veto Cole's opt-out by adding 1 year, $36M to deal .
A previously unreported wrinkle in Gerrit Cole's contract with the New York Yankees could make the right-hander even richer. The nine-year, $324-million pact includes a player opt-out following the 2024 season, by which time Cole will have banked $180 million. Instead of completing the contract's remaining four-year, $144-million obligation, Cole can decide to test free agency. However, the Yankees can actually veto Cole's opt-out by adding anThe nine-year, $324-million pact includes a player opt-out following the 2024 season, by which time Cole will have banked $180 million. Instead of completing the contract's remaining four-year, $144-million obligation, Cole can decide to test free agency.
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