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CC Sabathia is trying to sell Gerrit Cole on the Yankees

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CC Sabathia was on his podcast the other day and he talked about how he’s been lobbying Gerrit Cole to sign with the New York Yankees. Which could be effective given that he has some special insight to the whole thing.

Sabathia, like Cole, is from California. When he was a free agent after the 2008 season there was widespread speculation that he preferred to sign with a California-based team. A seven-year, $161 million contract offer from the Yankees persuaded him to head to The Bronx instead.

Sabathia said that a similar approach could do the same for Cole, who is also suspected of preferring to head west:

“if you give that motherf***er enough money, he’s going to want to come here.”

Seems simple, eh?

I dunno, maybe Cole has no desire whatsoever to come east or to join the Yankees. But Sabathia’s example is probably worth remembering if the Yankees don’t seriously engage Cole. It’ll especially be worth remembering if they don’t engage him and claim that Cole’s presumed lack of a desire to come to New York is the reason.

Because they know darn well that, if you offer a motherf***er enough money, they might just change their mind.

Rays’ Erik Neander named Executive of the Year

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At the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday, Rays GM Erik Neander was named the recipient of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year Award for the 2019 season. The Yankees’ Brian Cashman was the runner-up while the Athletics’ Billy Beane and the Twins’ Derek Falvey tied for third place.

Neander has worked for the Rays since 2017 but has operated in his current role since November 2016, taking over for Matthew Silverman who was promoted to president of the Rays alongside Brian Auld.

The Rays had, by far, the lowest payroll in baseball at $53.5 million, according to USA TODAY. Neander’s peers voting him Executive of the Year on the same today the league had to curtail its awarding of a prize belt to the team that suppressed salaries the most in arbitration is… certainly interesting timing.

At any rate, Neander’s Rays went 96-66 in 2019, finishing in second place in the AL East behind the 103-59 Yankees. The Rays claimed the second AL Wild Card and defeated the A’s to earn entry into the ALDS where they lost in five games to the Astros. It was the Rays’ first playoff appearance since 2013 and their regular season win total was second-most in franchise history behind the 2008 team (97).