The move comes three days after the Nationals designated Cole for assignment. He has endured a brutal start to the 2018 season, allowing 15 earned runs through 10.1 innings.
Cole is a somewhat odd fit for the generally hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium.
He has already surrendered six home runs this season and has allowed 1.8 homers per nine innings over his MLB career, per FanGraphs. Along the same lines, Cole has a 46.5 percent fly-ball rate, which puts him in the higher end of the spectrum in that regard.
With all of that said, the Yankees can afford to take a gamble on Cole and see if he fulfills the potential he showed early in his career. MLB.com listed him as the No. 56 prospect in baseball in 2014.
New York already has a strong starting rotation from top to bottom and a devastating bullpen trio of Aroldis Chapman, Chad Green and David Robertson. If Cole continues struggling, then it won't end up costing the Yankees too much.
The team successfully transformed Green from a middling starter to a dominant reliever, so perhaps pitching coach Larry Rothschild might be able to work similar magic with Cole if he's unable to crack New York's rotation.