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 Verlander, Dallas 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.
Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman strugged in Sunday afternoon’s start against the Red Sox, yielding four runs (three earned) over five innings. He fell to 2-7 with a 5.86 ERA. The Jays dropped three of four games to the Sox in the series and now sit with a 43-52 record heading into the All-Star break.
Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun reports that while Stroman was initially cool, calm, and collected when speaking to the media after the game, he eventually snapped. Stroman was asked by a reporter about breaking into professional baseball with short-season Single-A Vancouver in 2012. Stroman yelled at the reporter, noting that his team had just lost to the Red Sox, and called his team “f– terrible.” Keegan Matheson’s account of the situation lines up with Buffery’s as well.
Prior to the outburst, Stroman had just praised his teammates, saying, “My team picks me up a ton. They pick me up all year. I should be able to pitch better in times like that when my team doesn’t have my back. Because they’ve had my back a ton of times. So, love my guys on my team and like I said, I would go to war with them any day.”
Stroman will have off until Friday, so hopefully the time off helps him clear his mind. It has understandably been a frustrating season in Toronto.