ESPN says that the New York Yankees have made signing right-hander Gerrit Cole their clear offseason priority and have ownership-level approval to offer him a record-setting deal.
The Yankees' fondness for the 29-year-old Cole, who’s fantastic 2019 season with the Houston Astros set him up to smash David Price's record contract for a pitcher of $217-million, was only reinforced during a meeting with him earlier this week, sources said.
New York and the Los Angeles Angels, a team similarly smitten with Cole and in even greater need of pitching than the Yankees, are preparing for a bidding war that executives expect will reach well beyond $250-million. The Los Angeles Dodgers interest in Cole is acute as well, though they are also considering bids for right-hander Stephen Strasburg and third baseman Anthony Rendon, sources said.
Though the Yankees have prioritized signing Cole, they have not ruled out pursuing Strasburg, the reigning World Series MVP who is also being pursued by the Washington Nationals and Dodgers. Strasburg opted out of the four years and $100-million left on his contract with the Nationals and is expected to receive a deal of at least $180-million.
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