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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