The Dodgers appeared to be ‘all in’ on prized free agent Gerrit Cole this winter and even went as far as offering him a record-breaking deal of eight years, $300 million. However, they were outbid by the New York Yankees with a lucrative nine-year, $324 million contract. There was not a ton of noise regarding the progress of the Dodgers’ efforts to land Cole, but today, Clayton Kershaw clarified some of the efforts the Dodgers made in the recruiting process.
According to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, the future Hall of Famer told the media that he was not part of any recruiting pitch to get Gerrit Cole to come to Los Angeles. While there was no real further clarification from Kershaw on who was there and who else was not, it is an interesting thing to note.
Clayton Kershaw, at the Dodgers Holiday party, said he didn’t recruit Gerrit Cole to sign with the team.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) December 13, 2019
Here’s more with the Dodgers long-time ace.
When asked if he was a part of the Dodgers’ recruitment of Cole, he was brief in his answer, but offered up praise for the Yankees new ace.
No, uh uh. … obviously he’s really good at what he does and we would have love to have had him here, but that deal was pretty impressive for him. I’m happy for him — I know him a little bit — great dude and obviously an amazing pitcher. They got a good one for sure.
Perhaps a reason why Clayton Kershaw would not be a meeting with Andrew Friedman and Cole could be because they wanted to sell Cole on the idea that if he were to sign in Los Angeles, the pitching staff would be his to lead. Clayton Kershaw, while not the best pitcher in the rotation anymore, remains the anchor and leader of the staff due to his elite track record and attitude.
Cole ultimately wound up in New York and chances are, Clayton Kershaw’s presence at a Cole-Dodgers meeting in Los Angeles would not have done much. At the end of the day, Cole, who grew up a fan of the New York Yankees, signed the deal that paid him the most in terms of total value and also gave him an extra year of financial security.
This one will sting for a while.