Yankees hold off discussing condition of ace Gerrit Cole's elbow

Fri, Mar 15, 2024
MLB News (AP)

Yankees hold off discussing condition of ace Gerrit Cole's elbow

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone held off discussing the condition of ace Gerrit Cole's elbow, saying he and general manager Brian Cashman want to speak with the AL Cy Young Award winner before making any public comments.

The Yankees disclosed Monday that Cole was experiencing issues in bouncing back following spring training starts, and the 33-year-old traveled to Los Angeles to be examined by Dodgers team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache, an elbow expert. Cole was traveling back to Tampa on Friday.

Boone did say Friday that Nestor Cortes will start the March 28 opener at Houston.

"It's just a minor setback for him," Cortes said of Cole.

Cole is entering the fifth season of a $324 million, nine-year contract that pays $36 million annually. He has the right to opt out after the season and become a free agent, but if he opts out the Yankees can void the opt out by adding a guaranteed $36 million salary for 2029.

Center fielder Aaron Judge delayed his return to the lineup and won't play Saturday. The 2022 AL MVP hasn't played in a spring training game since Sunday and had an MRI of his abdomen the following day. He hit off a tee and took soft toss in an indoor cage on Friday.

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"All I'll say is, we're feeling pretty good," Judge said. "Like I said, the MRI came back clean. I think a lot of it was precautionary and no need to risk stuff in spring training. The main goal is to be game ready for opening day, so just going to work toward that."

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