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Astros talking to the Pirates about Gerrit Cole

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Earlier this offseason the Yankees were said to be pushing to acquire Gerrit Cole from the Pirates. Those rumors cooled, but the Yankees are still reportedly interested. Their interest is now being matched, Jeff Passan of Yahoo says, by the defending champ Houston Astros.

Passan reports that Houston is dangling outfielder Derek Fisherin the talks, although he says the Pirates would want more, which makes sense. The Yankees, of course, have a loaded farm system themselves, so the Pirates are in a decent position to have two of the best teams in baseball bidding against one another.

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 adding him would go a long way toward strengthening either club’s rotation. For Houston, it would give them an outstanding 1-2-3-4 punch with Justin Verlander, Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers. Keuchel, of course, becomes a free agent after the 2018 season, so Cole could help cushion the blow of him leaving, assuming he leaves.

Video: Clint Frazier loses go-ahead home run to Tropicana Field speaker

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Yankees pinch-hitter Clint Frazier hit what appeared to be a go-ahead solo home run off of Vidal Nuño in the top of the ninth inning of Sunday afternoon’s game against the Rays. Tropicana Field had other ideas. The ball struck a speaker hanging from the ceiling, then was caught in shallow left field by shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria.

That’s a tough break.

The Yankees went on to lose 7-6 when Jake Bauers hit a walk-off solo home run off of Chasen Shreve in the bottom of the 12th inning. The Rays swept the Yankees in their three-game home series over the weekend. They’re still 14 games behind the Yankees in the AL East, however.