Earlier on Sunday, Craig wrote about how the Pirates were nickel-and-diming ace starter Gerrit Cole. Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that the club has also never, at any point, discussed a contract extension with him. It’s looking likely that Cole will become a free agent after the 2019 season, unless the Pirates make a concerted effort to win his favor. Scott Boras is Cole’s agent, which is worth noting.
Cole, 25, was outstanding last season, finishing with a 19-8 record, a 2.60 ERA, and a 202/44 K/BB ratio over 208 innings. He finished fourth in National League Cy Young Award balloting behind Jake Arrieta, Zack Greinke, and Clayton Kershaw. That’s a pretty nice group with which to be associated.
The Pirates have another extension case coming up soon as well in outfielder Andrew McCutchen. He’s signed through 2017 with a club option for ’18, but McCutchen might demand an extension offer earlier to keep him from bolting to free agency later.