The Pirates and Yankees are discussing a trade that would send right-hander Gerrit Cole to the Bronx Bombers in exchange for a trade package that includes outfielder Clint Frazier, George A. King III of the New York Post reports. The Bucs are also reportedly looking for a young starting pitcher who is on the verge of being ready for the big leagues; righty Chance Adams may be the Yankees prospect that best fits this description, though there isn’t any indication the Pirates are specifically targeting Adams. Cole has been linked to the Yankees in rumors throughout the Winter Meetings, though New York was (at least at one point) under the impression that Cole wasn’t being made available. Then again, Pittsburgh hasn’t given much indication all offseason if the team plans to start selling off pieces or if it still plans to contend in 2018. Cole, Andrew McCutchen, and Josh Harrison have drawn the most trade buzz this winter, with the consensus being that McCutchen is the likeliest to be dealt regardless of whether the Bucs are going for it or not. Since McCutchen is only under contract through 2018, adding a big league-ready young outfielder like Frazier would seem to fit right into the Bucs’ plans. Trading McCutchen or Harrison would free up more money from the Pirates’ 2018 payroll, though dealing Cole would also be the bigger indicator that Pittsburgh will explore at least a soft rebuild. Cole is also set for a pretty healthy salary next season (projected by MLBTR to earn $7.5MM) in his second year of arbitration eligibility, though hardly a big sum for a team like the Yankees, their desire to get under the luxury tax threshold notwithstanding. There is no shortage of teams that would be interested in two years of control over a 27-year-old who has shown ace-like stuff in the past — the Twins, Rangers, and Orioles are a few other teams known to have checked in with the Pirates on Cole this offseason.
Yankees, Pirates Discussing Gerrit Cole Trade
MLB Trade Rumors | Dec 15