Jon Heyman from MLB Network is reporting that the New York Yankees are interested in acquiring right-handed pitcher Gerrit Cole from the Pittsburgh Pirates. Heyman notes that his feelings are that the Pirates aren’t trading him. While I don’t see the Pirates refusing to trade Cole, their asking price is likely high due to the fact that he still has two years remaining before free agency. As Heyman mentions, Cole was a first round draft pick of the Yankees out of high school, so he has been on their radar for quite a while.
Yankees are interested in gerrit cole, who they once drafted. But initial impression is pirates arent trading him.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 11, 2017
Cole had a down year in 2017, posting a career-high 4.26 ERA. His 4.08 FIP was slightly better than the ERA and his 1.25 WHIP was better than his 2016 total. He pitched over 200 innings for the second time and just missed his career best with 198 strikeouts. Cole allowed 31 homers in 2017, which nearly matched his totals from his first four seasons combined.
Cole is projected to make $7.5 M through arbitration this year, making him very affordable for a top of the rotation starter, if he can get back to those numbers. Combined with two years of control, it also makes him an interesting trade target for other teams. If anything more comes out, we will post an update.
UPDATE: Buster Olney also weighed in on a possible Cole/Yankees deal:
The Pirates are willing to listen to offers for Gerrit Cole; the Yankees and Pirates match up well for potential deals at this juncture, as sources confirm; Brian Cashman and Neal Huntington have an extensive trade history. Time will tell.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 11, 2017
Update from the Rangers beat writer is not much of an update:
Rangers checked in with the Pirates on RHP Gerritt Cole but nothing really there with Pirates
— TR Sullivan (@Sullivan_Ranger) December 11, 2017