Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |
SAN DIEGO -- Soon -- perhaps very soon, according to people in the know -- the Yankees will know if Gerrit Cole wants to play for them. Until then, the team's strong focus is on the free agent pitcher, and they'll deal with other concerns later.
For example, the Yankees seemed unfazed by the news that Didi Gregorius signed a one-year, $14 million contract with the Phillies. People familiar with the team's thinking believe that the front office decided as far back as September to part with Gregorius.
Though the team loved Gregorius' production, clubhouse presence, and ability to replace an icon in Derek Jeter, they appeared to believe that they simply had enough in-house coverage at shortstop to let Gregorius walk.
The Yankees are comfortable with Gleyber Torres, Tyler Wade and Thairo Estrada, though they are not ruling out looking for another strong defender at shortstop.
They are also likely to bring back Brett Gardner, per sources.
But all of that can wait until after Cole, and the potential trade of J.A. Happ can, too. The Yankees wouldn't mind moving Happ to clear payroll, and teams like the Blue Jays have expressed interest.
But according to sources, the Yanks don't have to do that before signing Cole, and don't really have to do it at all, if they don't want to.
All they have to do right now is get Cole, and they're trying to make that happen immediately.