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Report: Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg sweepstakes heating up

Top free agents Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg sit down with Yankees, others

Houston Astros starting pitcher Gerrit Cole pitches during the first inning against the Washington Nationals in game five of the 2019 World Series at Nationals Park. Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg are going to get paid this offseason, but by whom? According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Yankees are in on both and will sit down with them over the next couple of days. But this won’t be a quick process for whatever team ends up with either of the prized starters.

The Yankees have long pursued Cole to no avail, as they couldn’t sign him out of high school after taking him in the 2008 draft and then lost out to the Astros in 2018. But they’ll make another run at him this offseason.

Both Cole and Strasburg are from the west coast, so much speculation has them taking a comparable Yankees deal closer to home. We know that Cole will not return to the Astros, but many insiders, according to Rosenthal, believe the Nationals do have a real chance of re-signing their ace.

Both pitchers are represented by Scott Boras, who just helped Mike Moustakas land a lucrative deal with the Reds. That signing was quicker than Boras usually completes negotiations, but we can’t expect that from either of these top-line pitchers.

Strasburg grew up in San Diego as a Padres fan and also pitched at San Diego State. The narrative on the outside sounds good, but will the Padres put up the money to compete? We may not know for a while, but it will be interesting to follow the sweepstakes for both pitchers, who are true difference makers for any club.