Yankees News: CC Sabathia Has Talked to Gerrit Cole 'Many Times' About NY

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistNovember 6, 2019

Houston Astros starting pitcher Gerrit Cole throws against the Washington Nationals during the first inning of Game 1 of the baseball World Series Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Matt Slocum/Associated Press

CC Sabathia may be retired, but that hasn't stopped the six-time All-Star from recruiting the top free agent this offseason to the New York Yankees

Speaking on an episode of his R2C2 is UNINTERRUPTED podcast (h/t Mark Fischer of the New York Post), Sabathia said he's talked to Gerrit Cole many times about New York. 

"If you give that motherf---er enough money, he's going to want to come here," he said. "I am speaking from experience.  Me and Gerrit Cole have spoken at length many times about me pitching as a Yankee as a West Coast Guy. This is crazy, this is shaping out… like the same offseason I had."

It's not clear at this point if Cole will be a serious target for the Yankees, who had been reluctant to go past the luxury tax for a long time until last season, when their payroll hit $231 million.

Depending on player options and arbitration, New York is already projected to start 2020 with a $206.3 million payroll. Major League Baseball has set the tax threshold at $208 million for next season. 

Per ESPN's Jeff Passan, Cole is set up to receive the richest free-agent contract for a pitcher in MLB history. The current record-holder is David Price's seven-year, $217 million deal with the Boston Red Sox signed in December 2015. 

The Yankees can certainly use Cole in their starting rotation as they pursue their first World Series title since 2009. Their starting pitchers ranked 15th in MLB with a 4.51 ERA and 26th with 778.1 innings pitched last season.  

Cole led MLB with 326 strikeouts and ranked first in the AL with a 2.50 ERA during the 2019 season for the Houston Astros. He is one of three finalists for the AL Cy Young award, along with his Astros teammate Justin Verlander and Tampa Bay Rays ace Charlie Morton.