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Yankees to meet with Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg this week

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Ken Rosenthal reports that the Yankees will meet with Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg over the next two days.

Not a shock given that (a) the Yankees need starting pitching more than anything else; and (b) these are the two best pitchers available this year and, indeed, are two of the best in the game.

But don’t expect fireworks this week. The Yankees have played it slow in free agency in recent years, waiting desired candidates out and giving little public indication before making deals. Obviously Cole and Strasburg are much bigger players than those New York has courted recently, but Brian Cashman is unlikely to move too quickly or to allow a bunch of leaks to emerge from the Yankees’ offices before a deal is made. If a deal is made.

At the same time, Scott Boras represents both Cole and Strasburg and his m.o. is to wait out the market for as long as he can and to stir up as much interest — real or exaggerated — in his clients as the winter wears on. Given the Yankees’ needs and their deep pockets, he has to talk to New York whether his clients truly want to go there or if they’d rather both play elsewhere. And, for what it’s worth, there is a lot of reason to believe that both of his clients want to play on the west coast, even if that sort of thing is often overplayed and misreported during the hot stove season.

All of which is to say that, while this is interesting, it’s also likely pretty early in the Gerrit Cole/Stephen Strasburg Sweepstakes.

Andrew McCutchen ‘ready to go’ whenever season begins

Andrew McCutchen
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Phillies outfielder Andrew McCutchen would have opened the regular season on the injured list if it had started on time. Now, with the start of the season pushed back at least a few months due to coronavirus (COVID-19), the veteran five-time All-Star says he will be “ready to go” whenever the season begins, he told NBC Sports Philadelphia.

McCutchen, 33, tore his ACL in early June, ending his 2019 campaign. To that point, he had been quite productive for the Phillies, batting .256/.378/.457 with 10 home runs and 29 RBI over 262 plate appearances. If and when the 2020 season does begin, he will likely reprise his role as the leadoff hitter, this time under new manager Joe Girardi.

2020 marks the second year of McCutchen’s three-year, $50 million contract initially signed with the Phillies in December 2018. The Phillies also hold a $15 million club option for the 2022 season with a $3 million buyout.