Gerrit Cole remains a Pirate as of today, but there’s a third team that is now associated with a possible trade for the starting pitcher. The Chicago Cubs is reportedly interested in acquiring the 27-year-old. Meanwhile, the New York Yankees, which has backed off from the talks to trade Cole, may still be interested as well.
FanRag Sports said the Cubs have approached the Pittsburgh Pirates to discuss a possible trade for Gerrit Cole. The news comes as the reports of an agreement between the Pirates and the Houston Astros to trade Cole did not materialize and turned out to be a “false rumor.” The Yankees also shot down trade rumors involving Cole, but on Thursday morning, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com said on MLB Network, “don’t count the Yankees out yet,” according to Yahoo Sports.
Gerrit Cole has been a subject of trade rumors, particularly during the offseason. One of the reasons the Pirates are exploring a trade for him is because, in 2019, he can demand a huge salary bump. On Friday, Cole has agreed to a one-year deal with a salary of $6.75 million with the Pirates to avoid arbitration. Now, the question is whether he will stay as a Pirate after signing the contract.
Gerrit Cole’s best year was in 2015 when recorded a 2.60 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 202 punchouts in 208 innings. In 2017, he posted a career-high 4.26 ERA across 33 starts, according to Bleacher Report. If he joins the already star-studded roster of the Cubs, he will play alongside Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, Jose Quintana and Tyler Chatwood. In exchange for Cole, reports said the Pirates wants three top prospects. Sporting News suggests Alex Lange and Brendon Little would be an attractive trade given their big bodies and power arms.
A move to the Astros, the defending champions, would have been a sweet deal for Gerrit Cole. He can give the MLB team a proven arm and help them win easier the next season. A trade with the Astros is still possible now that Cole’s salary arbitration has been settled. The Yankees, meanwhile, reportedly think the Pirates are asking too much in exchange for Cole, which is why they took a U-turn and shifted to other prospects.
The 2018 Major League Baseball season is scheduled to begin on March 29 and will close on September 30.