SAN DIEGO – When team officials speak at Winter Meetings, bets are usually offset, positions are deliberately dark and emotions are almost always tempered, at least in public interviews with the media.
But Yankees manager Aaron Boone, speaking to most New York reporters on Tuesday afternoon, about five hours before news broke Gerrit Cole’s massive $ 324 million deal, did not attempt to hide it. – and his franchise – to convince the free agent right to come to New York.
“I feel like it’s just, obviously, a special talent and a special pitcher,” Boone said, wearing his light blue coat, dark jeans and crisp, white Air Force 1s. “This is a guy who is really hungry, really driven. Again, he understands who he is, and I don’t think if – wherever he takes his place he will be a big pitcher.”
Listen for a while. “Let’s hope it’s in the Bronx.”
Seriously, listen to Boone talk about meeting Cole. There is a need in that voice.
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Boone stopped short of asking Cole publicly to join his team, of course, and said all the right things about the pitchers that were already on the list.
But Boone and the rest of the Americans knew the truth: As good as their offense was in recent years, and as good as it would be in 2020, if everyone were healthy, the lack of an attractive ace at the top of the rotation would put them behind other teams in October. Teams tend to enjoy a bit of stress after a few years of just losing – in the last three years, they have reached the ALCS twice and have won at least 100 games twice (both in 2019). This kind of frustration hangs.
Brian Cashman, the longtime guru in front of the Yankees, also understood the need. And he had no intention of waiting for his guy to land, as had become the custom of the last offseasons.
The Americans went after Cole on all fronts, flying a large enough camp to California to visit with Jug and convince him of their interest. Heck, even Andy Pettitte, the Yankees’ wild goalkeeper, who was a star during Cole’s formative years as a Yankees fan, was part of the team.
“Man, I wanted him there,” Boone said. “I think, in Gerrit’s case, obviously as a Yankee fan, we knew that one of his favorite players he grew up with was Andy Pettitte. We all see the impact that Andy has had on our organization not only as a great former Yankee , but now as his role has continued to grow, his impact on players, his ability to relate and speak and to have a positive impact on players is something I have to watch here for the last two years. as another great stall I knew at that time i would be valuable and i’m sure it was extremely valuable. “
The pitch seems to have worked, though the nine years and the $ 324 million offered certainly made up the bulk of the heavy lifting.
And now the Yankees have their own type. Cole jumps on a spin that includes Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton and Luis Severino. The bullpen has established flawless, multifaceted and live weaponry. The offense has Judges Aaron, Gleyber Torres, Giancarlo Stanton, D.J. LeMahieu and Gary Sanchez, among others.
It was already a team that could have fought for the World Series. But now; It’s a team that might be the favorites of the World Series.