Update 10:45 p.m. — Yankees moving closer towards acquiring Cole
George King of the NY Post is reporting that a source with knowledge of the talks between the Yankees and Pirates says that the two organizations will get “a deal done.” King also says the package going to Pittsburgh would not include top prospects Gleyber Torres or Estevan Florial, but would instead feature some combination of Clint Frazier, Chance Adams and Miguel Andujar.
According to King:
It’s doubtful the Yankees would give up all three for Cole, but it’s also possible the deal could be expanded to include Pittsburgh’s versatile Josh Harrison who can play second, third, left field and shortstop in a pinch. The Yankees have openings at second and third after dealing Starlin Castro to the Marlins, and Chase Headley to the Padres and they haven’t brought back free agent Todd Frazier.
We’ll update this post as more info becomes available
Earlier this week, Ken Rosenthal of The Atlantic reported that talks between the Yankees and Pirates involving starter Gerrit Cole had “cooled.” However, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, those talks are now the complete opposite.
Sources: The New York Yankees are working on a deal to acquire starting pitcher Gerrit Cole from the Pittsburgh Pirates. Sides are talking, and while a final package has not come together, there is confidence. “A matter of when rather than if,” one source said.
The Yankees at this point are the likeliest destination for Gerrit Cole, but if that falls through, sources believe Pittsburgh is highly motivated to trade him. Likelihood Cole moves is very strong.
While there are no details on the package the Yankees would send to the Pirates, Clint Frazier has been rumored in recent weeks as a possible centerpiece.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports tweeted that one stumbling block in a possible deal is the fact that the Pirates want Gleyber Torres, but the Yankees would rather part with Frazier.
yankees have always loved gerrit cole, and maybe they work a deal eventually. but still hearing of one big holdup: pirates want gleyber to headline package, yanks want frazier to headline it.
The Yankees currently have the same rotation as last year under contract for 2018: Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Sonny Gray, Jordan Montgomery and CC Sabathia. However, with Sabathia’s age and ailing knee and Tanaka’s elbow issue always in the background, the organization wants more pitching depth.
Cole, 27, turned in a very mediocre 2017 season, going 12-12 with a 4.26 ERA over 203 innings pitched. He gave up an eye-popping 31 home runs in 33 starts, which would be a concern in Yankee Stadium.
In 2016, Cole battled elbow issues and tossed just 116 innings, going 7-10 with a 3.88 ERA. Some might believe a package headlined by Frazier would be too much, but the Pirates would want an interested team to pay for what Cole could be.
In 2015, Cole was named to the NL All-Star team and finished the year fourth in the Cy Young voting. He went 19-8 with a 2.60 ERA while striking out 202 in 208 innings.
The Yankees are very familiar with Cole, having drafted him out of high school in 2008. Cole instead went to UCLA, and was selected No. 1 overall by the Pirates in 2011.
Cole has two more years of team-control before he’s eligible to become a free agent following the 2019 season.
Stay tuned for more updates as they become available.