A Yankees contingent featuring Brian Cashman, Andy Pettitte, and others sat down earlier this week with free agents Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg.
Unlike the Yankees' recent free agency gameplans, they are full steam ahead for Cole and have made it clear that they'll spend whatever it takes to land him, SNY's Andy Martino has reported. If they don't land Cole, they could turn to Strasburg, who they view as similarly elite.
On Friday morning, Cashman spoke about the dual pursuits.
"Like all players in free agency, they want to really gauge the clear landscape and all the opportunities that really exist," Cashman said, according to the YES Network. "They're gonna give whatever weight to location, league, team, teammates, what they want to give. Whether it's west, midwest, east, there's so many factors that are gonna go into their decision-making."
There has been a thought that Cole prefers to sign with a team on the west coast, such as the Dodgers or Angels (who have both met with him), but he reportedly "assured" the Yankees during their meeting that he had no "west coast bias."
As far as Strasburg, there has been a belief that he is likely to return to the Nationals, though owner Mark Lerner said on Thursday that the team can't afford to retain both Strasburg and fellow free agent Anthony Rendon. That could potentially throw a wrench into things.
"It creates an amazing opportunity but it's also -- I'm sure it's stressful times for them and their families too, because obviously the better you are, the more choices you really have," Cashman continued about Cole and Strasburg. "You can kind of go anywhere at times. So I think they're I'm sure gonna be very thorough with their process."