Cash­man rap­pels build­ing, gets fan mes­sage on Cole

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - SPORTS - By Wil­liam S. Pax­ton As­so­ci­ated Press

STAM­FORD, CONN. (AP) » While Brian Cash­man was de­scend­ing the out­side of a build­ing Fri­day, the New York Yan­kees’ gen­eral man­ager came across a mes­sage taped to a 10th-floor win­dow from a fan: Please sign Ger­rit Cole.

Cash­man, whose rap­pelling ad­ven­ture has be­come a hol­i­day tra­di­tion, con­firmed he met with Cole in Cal­i­for­nia on Tues­day and spoke with free-agent pitcher Stephen Stras­burg the fol­low­ing day.

“It was a great op­por­tu­nity, clearly it was very pub­lic, that we met with Ger­rit Cole and Stras­burg while I was on the West Coast,” Cash­man said. “At least, that’s who you all are aware of so far. Who knows who I met with?

Cole and Stras­burg are the top pitch­ers on the free-agent mar­ket. The Yan­kees would like to add an ace to a ro­ta­tion that al­ready in­cludes Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, James Pax­ton and J.A. Happ.

Along with Cash­man, as­sis­tant gen­eral man­ager Mike Fis­chman,

man­ager Aaron Boone, new Yan­kees pitch­ing coach Matt Blake and for­mer Yan­kee pitcher Andy Pet­titte made the trip to speak with both pitch­ers, who are rep­re­sented by Scott Bo­ras.

Cash­man of­fered lit­tle about pos­si­bly sign­ing ei­ther player, de­clin­ing to dis­cuss how much the Yan­kees might spend.

“I think it was an im­por­tant part of the process for them,” Cash­man said. “It sounds like they have met with many teams, and ob­vi­ously I can’t pre­dict the fu­ture or the tim­ing of their fu­tures, only re­ally they con­trol that.”

Cole was 20-5 with an AL-best 2.50 ERA and a big league-high 326 strike­outs this year for the AL cham­pion Houston Astros. He was drafted by the Yan­kees 28th over­all in 2008 but de­clined to sign and headed to col­lege at UCLA.

Stras­burg was the MVP of the World Se­ries for the Washington Na­tion­als and was the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s first over­all pick in the 2009 draft.

Cash­man will re­turn to Cal­i­for­nia for the base­ball’s win­ter meet­ings, which be­gin Mon­day. First, he’ll at­tend Sun­day’s Heights and Lights, where he will dress as an elf and again de­scend the Land­mark

Build­ing.

“Ob­vi­ously, I’ll be fly­ing back out af­ter this event and in the mean­time staying en­gaged,” said Cash­man, who de­clined to say if another meet­ing with ei­ther pitcher was planned.

“I’m open to do clearly what­ever, as al­ways, is im­por­tant for the Yan­kees. If there are cer­tain steps that need to be taken, or con­ver­sa­tions on the phone, like any club we are fully pre­pared to do what’s nec­es­sary.”

PATRICK SEMANSKY - THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

FILE - In this Oct. 27, 2019, file photo, Houston Astros start­ing pitcher Ger­rit Cole throws against the Washington Na­tion­als dur­ing the first in­ning of Game 5 of the base­ball World Se­ries in Washington.

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