The New York Yankees appear set to go all-in on the top player in this year's free-agent class.
Passan's sources indicate the Yankees and Los Angeles Angels - the other team most frequently linked to Cole in the early stages of the offseason - are preparing for bidding that could easily surpass the $250-million mark. Such figures would see Cole shatter David Price's record for a pitcher's contract - $217 million over seven years.
Cole, 29, is coming off an outstanding two-year run with the Houston Astros that saw him emerge as one of baseball's premier pitchers. The former top prospect most recently finished second to Astros teammate Justin Verlander in AL Cy Young voting after posting a 20-5 record and leading MLB in both ERA (2.50) and strikeouts (326) in 2019.
It seems possible Cole's free-agency saga will be significantly less drawn out than those of Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, who both remained unsigned months into the new year while awaiting their respective megadeals last offseason; the "clear willingness of teams to engage in high-year, high-dollar deals" could speed up the process for Cole, Passan notes.
The Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Dodgers are among the other teams reportedly interested in Cole. Like the Yankees and Angels, the Dodgers have already held meetings with the three-time All-Star.