CC Sabathia has pitched Yankees to Gerrit Cole ‘many times’
Gerrit Cole will be the most coveted starter on the free agent market, and CC Sabathia is doing his part to pitch the allure of playing in New York Yankees pinstripes to the former Houston Astros ace.
It turns out the newly retired Yankees pitcher has spoken with Cole “many times” of late, as Sabathia revealed in an installment of his “R2C2 is UNINTERRUPTED” podcast this week, per the New York Post.
Sabathia, noting how he landed with the Yankees in 2008 after agreeing to a seven-year, $161 million contract — the largest contract for a pitcher at the time — said, “I am speaking from experience.”
How things played out for Sabathia and the Yankees back then is now influencing his pitch to Cole, as are similarities the two share from their youth.
“Me and Gerrit Cole have spoken at length many times about me pitching as a Yankee as a West Coast Guy,” Sabathia said, noting how both he and Cole both hail from California. “This is crazy, this is shaping out… like the same offseason I had.”
Cole, incidentally, was drafted by the Yankees with the 28th overall selection in the 2008 draft following his senior year in high school. Cole never negotiated with the Yankees, instead keeping his commitment to play college baseball at UCLA. The Pittsburgh Pirates later selected Cole with the No. 1 pick in the 2011 MLB draft.
The lure of California is believed to be a major factor in Cole’s deliberations at this early stage, as the Angels are believed to be the front-runners in pursuit of the ace. Other suitors, including the Astros, are expected to be in the hunt for Cole’s services as well.
All that said, Sabathia also alluded to how the Yankees — who came up short in their pursuit of Cole in 2018, losing out to the Astros — enjoy the luxury of being able to outspend teams in free agency.
“If you give that motherf—-r enough money, he’s going to want to come here,” Sabathia stated.