The Yankees have landed their big fish in Gerrit Cole, but they might not be done just yet. Here's the latest from MLB Winter Meetings...
Dec. 12, 8:59 PM:
The Yankees may have been the biggest winners at this year's Winter Meetings, as they leave San Diego with Gerrit Cole in agreement to come to New York.
So while the Yankees have added a pitcher, they've also lost a catcher, with Austin Romine heading to the Detroit Tigers on a one-year deal. The Bombers still have Kyle Higashioka, who could potentially fill that backup role behind Gary Sanchez, but the Yankees could now bring in Martin Maldonado, who they've been linked to.
Elsewhere, the Yankees are bringing back a familiar face in Brett Gardner, with SNY Insider Andy Martino confirming the outfielder is back with the Yankees on a one-year deal with a club option for 2021. Gardner is coming off of the best power-hitting season of his career and provides the Yankees with some extra outfield insurance as Aaron Hicks recovers from Tommy John surgery.
Also of note, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic has reported that the Yankees are among the most aggressive teams in pursuit of Brewers reliever Josh Hader. The Yankees already have one of the best bullpens in all of baseball, but Hader could potentially step in if Dellin Betances elects to sign elsewhere.
Dec. 11, 5:27 AM:
With Brian Cashman landing Cole, now he can move his focus to shoring up some other spots on his roster. And re-signing Brett Gardner should be one of them.
SNY's Andy Martino has been saying Gardner is willing to wait on the Yankees, as Cashman's sole focus was Cole. Now that the job is done, Martino believes a deal will is "probably coming soon." Whether or not it's another one-year deal, or a new multi-year contract is unknown.
Either way, it certainly looks like the longest tenured Yankee will continue to hold that title in 2020.
Gerrit Cole Timeline
The Yankees would not allow the Angels, Dodgers, or any of the two mystery teams to outbid them for Cole's services. And they spent like the Yankees of old, dishing out a record-setting nine-year, $324 million deal to ensure the 29-year-old wouldn't slip away.
The announcement came first from MLB Network's Jon Heyman at 11:57 p.m. on the east coast. Then, the wave of confirming reports, including SNY's Andy Martino at 12:02 p.m., soon followed. From there, the details of the deal -- Cole has a no trade clause and an opt out after Year 5 with no deferrals on the money -- surfaced.
As Twitter was going haywire with the biggest domino of free agency falling, speculation about the Yankees' 2020 chances were argued. Are they now the clear cut favorites to win the World Series? How will this affect other teams at the Winter Meetings? And finally, is this the right match between Cole and the Yankees?
Time will obviously tell, but it's safe to say the Yankees title chances just skyrocketed, as they have landed their ace for years to come.