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Report: No deal in place for Gerrit Cole

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UPDATE: Well, this is certainly a shock: Jeff Passan hears from a source that there is no deal in place for Gerrit Cole and that all of this was a “false rumor.” Passan says that doesn’t mean nothing will happen, but it seems that the report of a deal in place was wrong.

Back to the cold hot stove, I suppose.

11:53 AM: Jon Morosi of MLB.com reports that the Pittsburgh Pirates have agreed to trade starter Gerrit Cole to the Houston Astros. We’re still awaiting word on what players Houston will send back to the Pirates in exchange.

Adding Cole gives the Astros an outstanding 1-2-3-4 punch with Justin VerlanderDallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers in 2018. Keuchel, of course, becomes a free agent after the 2018 season, so Cole’s presence will help cushion the blow of him leaving after the season, assuming he leaves.

Cole went 12-12 with a 4.26 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 196/55 in 203 innings across 33 starts for the Pirates in 2017. He is only two seasons removed from a 19-8, 2.60 campaign in 2015, and he’s still just 27, so he’s an excellent bounceback candidate for 2018.

Diamondbacks sign Kris Medlen and Antonio Bastardo to minor-league deals

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Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Arizona Diamondbacks have signed pitchers Kris Medlen and Antonio Bastardo to minor-league deals. Medlen will make $1.1 million if he breaks camp with the Snakes. Bastardo will earn at $1.5 million if he makes the team.

Medlen hasn’t pitched in the bigs since 2016 and hasn’t pitched effectively in the bigs since 2013 due to multiple Tommy John surgeries and, more recently, shoulder ailments. Last year he put up a 4.95 ERA in 20 games in the Braves’ minor league system. If he’s healthy he could be a depth guy for the Dbacks in the event one of their big league starters go down.

Bastardo pitched in nine games, ineffectively, for the Pirates before being released last season. He didn’t catch on anywhere else after that so, hey, I guess he’s fresh?