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.