What was reported yesterday is now official. The Pirates announced this afternoon that top prospect right-hander Gerrit Cole will make his major league debut Tuesday night against the Giants in Pittsburgh.
Selected No. 1 overall in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, Cole owns a 2.84 ERA over 38 starts in the minors. This includes a 2.91 ERA in 12 starts this season with Triple-A Indianapolis.
Cole has surprisingly only averaged 6.2 K/9 this season, but there’s no doubt that he has the building blocks of a frontline starting pitcher. The 22-year-old is capable of hitting 100 mph with his fastball and throws a hard biting slider. Exciting times for the Pirates, who entered play today at 36-25 on the year.
This is more significant for basketball fans than baseball fans, but Magic Johnson is taking over basketball operations for the Los Angeles Lakers. Dan Feldman over at PBT has the full story on that.
For our purposes, you probably know that Johnson is part of the Dodgers ownership group. Anthony McCullough of the L.A. Times got comment from the Dodgers, saying that despite his new full-time job, his status with the Dodgers will be unchanged:
Maybe I’m alone in this, but I’m not entirely certain what Magic does with the Lakers, so the first clause in Kasten’s comment may be doing most of the heavy lifting here.
Jon Heyman reports that the Nationals are closing in on a deal with catcher Matt Wieters. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that it’s a two-year deal. UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is for two years, at $21 million. There is an opt-out for him after year one. He will get $10 million in 2017 and, if he returns in 2018, he’ll get $11 million.
Wieters was not expected to go this long without signing, but his market, which many thought would be robust, never materialized. The Nats had been rumored to be interested for months, but they were apparently waiting to swoop in late and get what one presumes will be a bargain.
Wieters, 30, finished last season hitting .243/.302/.409 with 17 home runs and 66 RBI in 464 plate appearances. The Nationals currently have Derek Norris and Jose Lobaton, so who falls where in the catcher fight in Washington is unclear, but one presumes that Wieters getting a two-year deal puts him at the top of the depth chart.