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.