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Gerrit Cole: Yankees brought bottle of fancy wine to meeting

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community news, Gerrit Cole: Yankees brought bottle of fancy wine to meeting

The Yankees really pulled out all the stops

One of the most interesting subplots of the Gerrit Cole signing has been how it’s shed light on free agent recruitment in baseball. 

We hear all the time about how NBA teams and players try to convince free agents to sign, which makes sense because it’s a league with a salary cap. NBA teams can only offer identical max contracts and so a player’s decision on where to sign is about environment and supporting cast instead of money. 

But up until recently I think I was (naively) under the impression that MLB teams just haggled with players and agents over contract details until they came to an agreement on a dollar amount and put ink to paper. Thanks to Gerrit Cole, we know that’s far from the case. 

Since Cole signed last week, a few details have trickled out about how the Yankees tried to sway him to sign in New York (beyond the nine-year, $324 million contract). We know that they brought Andy Pettitte, one of Cole’s childhood heroes, to their meeting with Cole in California. They also presented him with a mysterious “30-pound-ish contraption.” Yankees clubhouse manager Lou Cucuzza also played an unexpected role. 

Cucuzza and Cole had struck up a friendship during Cole’s visits to the Bronx. On one occasion, Cole told Cucuzza about a trip he took with his wife to Florence, Italy, and a meal they had there that included a bottle of one of the world’s best wines. When Yankees manager Aaron Boone walked into the room for the meeting with Cole, he was carrying two bottles of that same wine. Cole was floored. 

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