Mark Teixeira: What it’d take to get Gerrit Cole on the Yankees

Former first baseman Mark Teixeira thinks the Yankees will have to give Gerrit Cole a record-breaking contract to get him to New York.

While speaking on ESPN’s “Baseball Tonight” podcast about the possibility of Cole landing in pinstripes, Teixeira talked about Yankees general manager Brian Cashman’s strategic approach to dealing with top free agents and how the organization is “never out of a negotiation because they have more money than anybody.”

And they’ll need a lot of it to sway Cole away from returning to the West Coast, where the Angels are among the favorites to sign him. 

“Every agent knows that if they don’t call the Yankees before their client signs they might be leaving money on the table,” Teixeira said. “Because, especially this year, with how important Gerrit Cole is to the Yankees offseason, they won’t get outbid.

“The question is, if the Yankees truly want Gerrit Cole, they can give him 10 years and $400 million dollars, they can do that. The question is, what are other teams willing to do and the Yankees don’t want to bid against themselves during this process.”

The retired first basemen, who signed an eight-year, $180 million contract before the 2009 season, recalled his own recruitment process with Cashman. Teixeira said the GM didn’t make an offer when they first began discussions. But he told his agent, Scott Boras – who currently represents Cole – to give him a call when he was ready to make a decision.

Teixeira said he imagined the same conversation happening between Cashman and Boras this offseason, except with the Astros ace as the player in question. However, Teixeira doesn’t think Cole will end up in New York.

“For some reason, I don’t think he’s going to the Yankees,” he said. “That’s just a gut [feeling], I don’t have any inside information on that, you’re way better at that stuff than I am. I just have a feeling that Gerrit Cole has – first of all, he’s already made a bunch of money, right? So a couple million bucks here and there won’t be a big deal.

“Playing in New York is not for everybody. And maybe Gerrit Cole will thrive in New York. But if you told me, as the top free agent on the market, and I’m a West Coast guy, and the Dodgers and Angels are sitting there drooling over me. I’m probably going to look there before I look at the Yankees.”

The way Teixeira sees it, Cole will take everything he knows about New York into consideration while making his decision. But if the price is right, Cole could be persuaded by a bigger number.

“Gerrit Cole, he can write his own check right now,” Teixeira said. “The question is, if the Yankees did something crazy and got to $350 or $400 million dollars, then you almost can’t turn it down, right? I think money being equal, he’s not going to the Yankees. If the Yankees completely blow everyone out of the water, then he’ll end up in pinstripes.”

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