The New York Yankees plan to be more active this offseason than last, as they will pursue free-agent starting pitchers Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg, general manager Brian Cashman said, according to Andy Martino of SNY.
New York is concerned Cole prefers to play in his home state of California but will still attempt to get him to the Big Apple for the third time after drafting the righty in 2008 and trying to trade for him two seasons ago, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports.
"Of course we're going to talk to Strasburg, we'll talk to Cole, we'll talk to the higher-end guys, clearly," Cashman said, according to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com. "We'll also talk about some surprise guys, I'm sure ... Anybody would have interest in players like that."
Cashman said he hasn't been told by ownership to stay under the luxury tax, according to Martino. The Yankees were one of three teams last season to go over the $206-million threshold.
Cole's camp is expected to initially ask for a contract north of $300 million, according to Buster Olney of ESPN.
Starting pitching was an issue for the Yankees last season, as the rotation's 4.51 ERA was the ninth-best mark in the American League. The club got only three starts from ace Luis Severino, as he dealt with multiple injuries.
Left-hander CC Sabathia's retirement has left New York with a vacancy in its rotation, too.
Cole, one of the front-runners for the AL Cy Young Award for this past season, led all pitchers with 326 strikeouts and 7.4 WAR in 2019.
Strasburg, meanwhile, is the reigning World Series MVP after helping the Washington Nationals win the Fall Classic. He posted a 3.32 ERA across 209 innings with a 10.8 K/9 rate this year.