Chris Stewart texted his ex-teammate and fellow Southern California native Gerrit Cole when news broke that the right-hander had agreed to a record-breaking, $324 million deal to join the Yankees.
“I told him, ‘Welcome to the Pinstripes and to go visit my monument in Monument Park,’ ’’ the retired catcher joked by phone Friday.
Stewart, who played two seasons in The Bronx in 2012-13 and then spent four years with Cole in Pittsburgh, has been talking to the pitcher about the Yankees since the two became teammates in 2014.
“He always had that connection with the Yankees, from growing up a fan to being drafted by them,’’ Stewart said. “He wanted to know what the fans were like, what the Stadium was like to play in and how it was to play in the city. It all led to this.”
Cole is about to find out for himself.
“I don’t think he’ll change anything,’’ said Stewart, who has compared Cole’s mentality to CC Sabathia’s. “He’s very confident in what he does. Off the field, he’s laid-back, but when he steps on the mound, he’s a beast. It doesn’t matter where he is, what the fans do or what stadium he’s in. I don’t foresee any obstacles…