© Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees are looking to make a major splash in free agency. The defending AL East champs are set to meet with Cy Young runner-up Gerrit Cole in Southern California on Tuesday.

Unfortunately for the Yankees, money might not matter. Jon Heyman of MLB Network is reporting that the team is worried that Cole will choose his Southern California roots over the Big Apple.

A native of Newport Beach in Southern California and a UCLA product, Cole has been linked to the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels in free agency. Both have shown interest in the game’s best pitcher.

There’s good news on this front for the Yankees. If Cole had no intention of even considering the team, he would not be meeting with New York’s brass.

Cole, 29, pitched to a 20-5 record with a 2.50 ERA and 0.90 WHIP while striking out 326 batters during a brilliant performance for the Houston Astros last season.