The Pittsburgh Pirates may finally have a trade destination for Gerrit Cole. Jon Morosi reports that a Cole trade to the Houston Astros is imminent, and Ken Rosenthal confirmed by saying a deal is close.

Obviously any analysis would have to wait until there’s an actual deal. I’ll keep this updated with further rumors, and will have thoughts in a bit.

UPDATE 12:09 PM: I think the interesting thing about the Astros is that they don’t have a lot of depth in the areas where the Pirates need depth. Their best prospects are outfielders, which means anyone coming in would be competing with Austin Meadows for a future starting role.

That’s not a bad thing, and not just because Meadows has an injury history and hasn’t made the jump to the big leagues yet. You generally don’t want to put all of your eggs in one basket. That’s how you get into situations where you turn down Ryan Howard because you already have Brad Eldred.

As I’m typing this, Morosi says a deal is done. Further updates coming.

UPDATE 12:19 PM: Morosi says that the upcoming arbitration deadline had to do with the timing of this move.

UPDATE 12:19 PM: Cole hasn’t been told anything yet, per a few reports.

That doesn’t mean a deal isn’t done, just that Cole hasn’t been told and the teams haven’t made it official. This wouldn’t be the first time a trade breaks on Twitter before the player finds out.

UPDATE 1:06 PM: It appears there isn’t a deal. Jeff Passan said that there is no deal in place, and the earlier rumor was a “false rumor.”

The Astros GM, Jeff Luhnow, said that nothing is imminent at this point, which sounded like it could be GM speak at the time, but now sounds accurate.

So I guess we wait and see what happens now.

UPDATE 1:54 PM: Update from yours truly. Reposting this here:

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101 COMMENTS

  1. I heard a rumor that Tim Williams is making all this up to keep us folks with no lives amused until something actually happens. The man is a mad genius!

  2. Now that the Cole farce is over, can we get down to the really serious business? What is happening at the mini-camp, besides NH getting lunch?

    • I’m more concerned with what NH was eating for lunch. I am assuming that he, along with the rest of the team, has Ramen noodles so that Nutting can fund a new chair lift at Seven Springs 😉

  3. I think what the actual statement was,, That was a very COLD train ride I took to Houston but the person heard Cole Train is going to Houston.

    • Or maybe it was there is a Coal Train on its way to Houston…… Just some possible reasons why they may have this one wrong.

  4. So Morosi tweets plural sources say a deal is “imminent”. Then a singular source says they have “reached agreement”. Then a recant because a singular source says “no deal…false rumor”.
    .
    Whatever happened to reporters to confirming thru multiple sources and fact checking. Lousy reporting. Anyone can be a rumor monger.

  5. I’m going to need more details on this “lunch” thing NH has locked down. Sounds like a real bread and butter story. Straight from the hot stove. I’m hungry for details.

  6. The national writers have been putrid this entire offseason. Everybody’s trying to be first instead of correct.

    i mean it’s just sports and it doesnt *actually* matter, but come on.

    Cole to yankees is happening
    no it’s not
    Cole to astros is happening
    no it’s not

    almost have to wonder if Huntington is trying to identify a leaker or something haha

  7. Need to trade him this week while Steelers playoffs still take the blunt force of a rebuild. If you trade him after the Steelers lose, you are in full view of the PR yinz-storm that is about to happen (Regardless of if it is the right move or not)

  8. Given how this offseason has gone across baseball, this supposed trade seemed too “out of the blue” and I guess it was. I wonder how many of MLB Trade Rumor’s top 50 free agents will still be available in February. Probably 10-20. If the Pirates had any money, maybe they could find someone useful.

  9. LOL, this sounds a LOT like Cutch to Washington last year.
    IF a deal gets done, please don’t get upset with the return. I have low expectations for the return in a Cole deal, so I probably wont be.

  10. The pirates insisted on keeping this trade on the down low until they have deals for cutch and jhay. They lose leverage if teams know they are selling. That’s my guess anyway.

  11. I am not happy at this point:

    – The Astros don’t have prospects that are as ready as NYY – Frazier, Andujar, Adams, or the elusive Torres. Those guys could have stepped in and produced this year. The Astros guys won’t likely be up until 2019 or 2020.
    – As Tim said they are strong in the OF, middle rotation pitchers, and maybe 1B. Getting a mid rotation guy and an OF seems like it would be treading water vs improving.

    My hope is that we made up for the points above by getting three or four guys in return.

  12. From MLBTradeRumors – “Astros GM Jeff Luhnow says there’s “nothing imminent” in any of the team’s trade talks, per Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle.”

  13. Heyman just said the Astros have been adamant on keeping Whitley and Tucker, if the Pirates don’t get at least one of them will it be worth it? He suggested Moran could be a center piece, why can’t it be Tucker, Moran and ?

  14. Even if Cole hasn’t officially been informed, he certainly knows about the trade rumors so this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Still could be unsettling though.

  15. I know.
    I’m hoping:
    1. Kyle Tucker OF
    or Forest Whitley SP
    2. Colin Moran 3B
    3. JJ Matejevic OF
    4. Another top 25 prospect

    • I like the structure of one of the two 3rd base prospects being the second piece an

      1 – Bukauskas or Fisher
      2 – Moran or Davis
      3 – Jason Martin (If Bukauskus) or Hector Perez (If Fisher)
      4 – Lotto

  16. Tim, not trying to be contrarian as I know this is moving fast but…
    “That’s how you get into situations where you turn down Ryan Howard because you already have Brad Eldred.”
    Not acquiring Tucker b/c you already have Meadows could turn out to be an analogous situation… maybe that is what you meant?

  17. Obviously, my opinion of the trade will depend upon the return, but I am very happy that it was the Astros Cole went to…they’re a great organization that has built itself up with wise moves.

    • The Angels are in California (Cole’s home state) and are trying to close the gap between them and Houston. If some smart GM acted like they were interested in Cole, it could drive the price up for their competitor. C’mon Neal what would it cost to get somebody to break that story?

  18. Whitley might be untouchable. Be happy with some combo of Tucker, Fisher, Martes, Paulino, Alvarez,Moran, Davis, Stubbs, etc.

    • Even if Tucker and Whitley are untouchable I think a deal with any four of those other names coming back is a very solid haul, even three of them plus a lottery ticket or two could be just fine.

    • Fisher!!! He’s halfway to 30y/o….he’d be a role player…not a star. And who the hell is Martes? He’s not listed as a top 30 prospect?

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