Obviously with Gerrit Cole signing with the New York Yankees in the late hours of Wednesday night, today the Los Angeles Dodgers and their fan base are left with only fallout.
Of course, part of that fallout in life and in baseball is always to dwell on the ‘why’ behind what happened. While the Dodgers will tell their side of the story eventually, Scott Boras did offer a bit of information that should be talked about. Therefore, we reference a tweet from Jack Curry who works for YES Network and covers 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
Furthermore, Curry asked Boras what made Cole choose to sign with the New York Yankees. Apparently, five conversations with Yankees’ owner Hal Steinbrenner aided in the negotiations that led to a record-breaking 9-year, $324 million dollar pact.
In addition, Cole had discussions with former New York Yankees legend Andy Pettitte. Beyond that, Steinbrenner was persistent and Cole was allegedly infatuated with Pettitte’s tales of yore of pitching in the Bronx.
With that being said, you wonder if the Dodgers could have put Cole on the horn with someone like; oh I don’t know, Sandy Koufax? Undeniably, I am being facetious in saying this. Still, it’s hard to believe that in a photo-finish between the Dodgers and Yankees; this was the only difference.
In the meantime we will wait to hear what the Dodgers’ official offer to Cole was. Early whispers say that Los Angeles went as high as offering 8 years, but nothing confirmed as of yet — it should make it’s way to the public eventually.
The Dodgers felt good about their chances to land Gerrit Cole and thought they might get him right up until the time he chose the Yankees. They don't think the money was enough of a difference to lose out on him; they think in the end he simply wanted to be a Yankee.
— Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) December 11, 2019
Finally – if there is a lesson to be learned here – perhaps it is the ‘persistence’ that Boras mentioned from the Yankees’ ownership group. From the beginning, we all were told that Cole only wanted to pitch on the West coast. From there, the Yankees were not to be denied; seemingly willing their way into this deal by any means necessary.
Sometimes it takes that to land the biggest free agent of the year, or the biggest in a decade.