We asked Gerrit if he would try and keep his scruff or if he would embrace the Yanks decades-long, clean-cut tradition.
"That's nuts," Cole said ... before saying he would "unfortunately" part ways with his face-warmer. (At least that's what it sounded like he told us. It was super loud.)
The Yankees' courtship of Cole has been one of the biggest stories in baseball ... the guy had a ton of suitors in free agency these past few weeks -- from the Yanks to the Dodgers to the Angels. Everyone was willing to throw insane amounts of cash at him.
Of course, Cole ultimately landed with NY ... and despite him saying it wasn't the easiest choice ever -- he added he's sure as hell happy he made it.
Cole's official welcome press conference is set for Tuesday -- so enjoy the beard while you still can.