Lately, free agent starting pitcher Gerrit Cole has been meeting with the biggest players in the industry. First he met with the Los Angeles Dodgers. While not much made it to the public of what was discussed in that meeting, there was a different circumstance in another meeting with a rival team and Cole.
Now – Jon Heyman reports that the Yankees not only met with Gerrit Cole – but also discussed his alleged preference to play for a West Coast team. This was reported on Heyman’s twitter account on Wednesday evening.
Gerrit Cole assured the Yankees he has “no West Coast bias” at yesterday’s meeting which lasted 4 plus hours. Yankees believe he’s built for NYC but have been worried he preferred LA. No word yet on today’s meeting with Stephen Strasburg.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 5, 2019
Furthermore, Cole assured the Yankees that his ‘West Coast bias’ to play for a team like the Dodgers or Los Angeles Angels does not exist. Equally important, Heyman says the meeting between Cole and the Yankees lasted around 4 hours.
Finally, the shakeout of the meeting is that the Yankees believe he’s built for New York City; but were previously worried that he wanted to play for a West Coast team. Now, that doesn’t appear to be the case.
If what Heyman reports is true, have the Dodgers and Angels lost ground on Gerrit Cole?
Earlier in the day, Jeff Passan pointed towards the Yankees when he said this quote:
“Gerrit Cole is the best combination of present stuff, of command and control, of intellect, of competitiveness, of age of anybody who has been out there. That is why I think he is going to get the money that he is going to get. He is the total package. If you’re the New York Yankees, it is knowing that he is going to be out there on Opening Day and Game 1 of the NLDS, NLCS, and World Series.”
Obviously, the same could be said about the Dodgers or Angels for that matter. Still, if you were a fan that was banking on the fact that Cole wants to play in the California sun, that may no longer be the biggest component in these negotiations.