Buster Olney is reporting that the Pittsburgh Pirates have been very active with trade talks recently and they are making progress in those talks. Those trade discussions still include possible deals for Andrew McCutchen, Gerrit Cole and Josh Harrison. If either Cole or McCutchen are dealt, then it would make sense for the Pirates to go all in with trades this off-season. We haven’t heard much since MLB teams went on a short Christmas break, but the Pirates aren’t the type of team to share trade rumors, so it’s not surprising that they could still be busy yet we aren’t hearing anything.

There was also a note from last night that the Cubs might be interested in Gerrit Cole. The actual wording of the article by Bruce Levine from CBS Chicago was vague, so we didn’t post a rumor article, but it’s worth posting here just in case. Here’s the pertinent quote:

“The two starting pitchers getting the most attention on the trade market are Pirates right-hander Gerrit Cole and Rays right-hander Chris Archer, and both are receiving attentions from top clubs like the Yankees and Cubs.”

I would assume all of the other 29 teams would be interested in acquiring those two pitchers for the right price, and there’s nothing more connecting Cole to the Cubs, so not much to go on there.

If something else comes up today, we will update this post.

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    • The core isn’t that good. Besides, a team should be able to rebuild in 6-7 years max even if they have a lousy farm system at the start.

  1. If NH trades Cole to the Cubs it better be his last move before he is fired. Unless he gets Bryant and Happ.

  2. Recent fan survey saw “trade all three” as most popular response.

    My view is fans still love Cutch and J-Hay but hope new faces will produce different results; in Cole’s case, it’s they know he won’t re-sign here, he’s a little bit of a “jagoff,” and properly done should bring back something decent in return.

  3. If we are going to trade guys like Cutch, Cole and Harrison, I’d be happy to see Nova dealt. He has 2 years left on his contract, which means he wouldn’t be around for a rebuilt contender in Pittsburgh, but might have some value for other teams.

    • They’re selling low if they do I say he builds his trade value back by the deadline and then can be traded at the very least

      • Selling low? Nova’s 2017 was basically in line with his career norms, and he set a career high in innings. His 5 more or less complete seasons, he’s put up 2.3, 1.5, 2.5, 2.3 and 1.9 WAR. I think we’ve seen enough to know he’s not going to get significantly better than he was last year. It’s far from certain that he would build trade value by the deadline – he could just as easily continue being average or injure himself.

        Now, if you don’t want to trade him because you like him as a stabilizer for 2019, fine. I can get on board with that.

        But if the choice is trade him this offseason or trade him in July, I’m with Jason G. Trade him now, while he’s healthy and his contract has excess value.

        • While the career average is statistically accurate it doesn’t take the change in his mechanics after he had knee discomfort. If he can get back to what he was at pre discomfort way more valuable doubt you get much today. Good to have him as a hedge if the rebuild is faster. Don’t see much upside in trading him now unless they load up on near MLB ready pitchers with upside.

  4. Harrison to the Yankees for Clint Frazier, straight up
    Cole to the Astros for Colin Moran, Forrest Whitley and Garrett Stubbs
    Cutch, Kevin Kramer, Steven Brault + cash to the Royals for Danny Duffy
    Cervelli to the DBacks for Jared Miller
    Kingham, Will Craig, and Luis Escobar to Miami for JT Realmuto
    Lineup – Marte, A Frazier, Bell, Polanco, Realmuto, Moran, C Frazier, Mercer
    Rotation – Taillon, Duffy, Nova, Williams, Kuhl – Keller and Whitley coming soon

  5. John,

    Can you or Tim have another article where a trade is discussed with someone other than the Yankees???? perhaps Colorado, whom I think we match up better in a trade than the Yankees, since Colorado needs a stud pitcher.
    I would start by asking for Rockies top SS prospect Brendan Rodgers, they also have a developing catcher prospect Tom Murphy that we inquire about, as well as 3B/1B Ryan McMahon. Riley Pint is a young RH pitcher, Ryan Vilade is another SS if Rodgers is not obtained you have to get this guy.
    I think we are all tired of the Yankee trade situation, we all know the pinstripes covet G. Cole, we get that. Expand on other trade opportunities and perhaps some prospects from other teams plus the Rockies. Please…………

    • You are right however I don’t think John can report what doesn’t appear to be happening. We can only hope that behind the scenes both the Rocks and the Pirates are working nonstop to get a deal done. It really does seem to make sense for both teams

      • Yeah… just taking a look at the Rockies’ needs and the prospects they have… Seems like something could get done to work out well for both sides.

    • you could make an argument that like every non-rebuilding team should try to trade for Gerrit Cole. It just doesnt make sense to write about it unless it’s actually being rumored.

      Is Team X pretty good?
      do they have a prospect ranked in the 10-50 range?

      If the answer to both of those is “yes” then that team is probably a good fit for a Cole trade because Cole makes every single team in baseball better.

    • Best scenario is to send Cole and JHay to Yanks. Both teams would benefit. Why help the Cubs if we want to contend in ‘19 or ‘20?

      • if the cubs want to trade for a great pitcher, they’re going to do it. If it’s not Cole, it’ll be someone else.

        If the Cubs make the best offer for Cole (which i dont think they can or will, for the record) then that’s the deal the Pirates should make.

          • We’re in total agreement. I feel like a trade with the Cubs would have to be a built around one of their solid, non-star, players with 3-6 years of team control left.

            Happ, Schwarber, Russell, or Baez

            maybe the pirates add a prospect for some of those, maybe the cubs add a prospect for some of those.

            That said, i’m of the opinion that i’d rather them get a potential star in AA than a solid player already in MLB in any Cole trade, but that’s just me.

        • If the Cubs make the best offer be afraid. They don’t seem to have much. GM NH doesn’t want another Neil Walker scenario. I doubt he would want Happ.

  6. I have a feeling we are going to see several moves bundled together quickly, such as a trade with Cole to the Cubs netting Ian Happ +, putting Happ as 2b, and turning around and trading J-Hay, for a near neutral impact on expected wins for 2018 but reducing payroll

    • Cole cannot go to the Cubs. According to a New York writer a few weeks ago, Cole to the Yankees feels inevitable! Typical Yankee arrogance.

  7. I would think any deal with Cubs would include Happ. If you are going to stink you might as well have guys the locals can root for. I would love Baez but I doubt they would part with both for Cole and Harrison but that could be something.

  8. What about the Indians?? I’d love for Neil to target someone like C Francisco Mejia and a AAA SP plus lottery for Cutch and Harrison. Or complete the rebuild and make it interesting with using Rivero as trade bait!

    • No… Never use Rivero as trade bait. He is the one that WE want closing games here for a Long, long time, (assuming his arm doesn’t give)!!

      I’d shop Taillon at this point b4 shopping Rivero!

      • Why shop Taillon, when the best you could even think of getting back would be…….. someone with Taillon talent.

    • I can’t upvote this enough. I’ve lived in Illinois 20 years. How much crap I got from Cubs fans calling Pittsburgh their minor league club.

      • And it only really takes one bad trade, and then you get to re-live it at least 18 times a year. Trade with the Yankees; trade with the Angels – stay out of the NL altogether.

        I think the Pirates can part with Cole and Harrison, and not take too big of a hit. ‘Cutch led the team in HR, 2B, Runs, Walks, EBH, and 2nd by only 2 RBI. He is irreplaceable at this time. Marte is not and is only 2 years younger. We have to see something from Polanco and Meadows in 2018 before we start to think about trading McCutchen. Padres and Royals offering $20/$21 mil for a 28 year old Hosmer – if ‘Cutch is not worth that to the Pirates, they need to get their heads examined. Heart and Soul of the team and the Pittsburgh franchise.

        • I think GM NH knows and thinks he is worth it. But they don’t want to commit 20% of their payroll to one player. Or they are just saying that and taking the high road. I’m wushu washy on that.

  9. If this rumor is true, what would you have to have from the Cubs?
    Schwarber, Happ or Almora? Victor Caratini, Wladimir Galindo? I know
    that i would not want Almora, I also don’t see NH trading within the
    division, but if the haul was good enough, why not? Baez or Russell would be interesting but doubt the Cubs would part with those.

    • Happ would be the #1 target for me. I think that dude is good. Not as flashy of a fielder as Russell/Baez but he can play center and his bat appears to be more consistent than the other two.

      • AND the kid’s from Pittsburgh AND they are going to need that kind of positive publicity after parting with Yinzer favorites McCutchen, Harrison and Cole… May their names rest in Pirates history.

        I bet they’ve had a contract lined up and ready for Wang (Walker) to sign (and hopefully by the time his back goes completely for the summer (~ August 1) they’ll have some help ready from a fresh crop at Indy!)!!

  10. A Cole to Cubs trade would be OK with me if, and only if, the Pirates end up not only helping themselves but also hurting the Cubs by taking out some key piece or pieces. If they can stand to lose Baez, then I would want more than Baez.

  11. the cubs almost literally dont have the prospects to get something like this done.

    Something like Cole for Baez would be fun though.

    or get a 3rd team involved. something like…

    pirates get prospects from team 3
    cubs get cole
    team 3 gets a schwarber or baez from the Cubs.

    • (maybe baez isn’t quite as good as i was originally picturing, but he’s still one of my favorite players)

      • How many years of control does Baez have? He is under achieving. Had he have been who thought he was the Cubs wouldn’t have needed Addison Russell.

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