The Evil Empire wasn’t going to be quiet forever.
The New York Yankees are trying to obtain one of the best young, controllable starting pitchers on the trade market less than a week after landing the 2017 NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton … we just don’t know which one yet.
Among the potential names, however, you’ll find the Pirates’ righty Gerrit Cole:
The Pirates are gathering names of young, controllable players from the Yankees for a possible Gerrit Cole deal, but nothing close. Yankees also looking at Michael Fulmer, Chris Archer.
— Bill Brink (@BrinkPG) December 13, 2017
Also listed, Michael Fulmer (Tigers) and Chris Archer (Rays). We’ll get to each of these arms in a minute, but let’s first discuss Gerrit Cole and the Pirates.
Bill Brink reports the Pirates are doing their homework in collecting names of cost-controlled Yankees players in a deal that could possibly send Cole, their right-handed ace, to New York. Well, then.
First of all, yes it’s very notable that the Pirates are willing to move Cole, because the likelihood of that happening seems to change on a daily basis and could impact the Cubs in many ways. Unfortunately, I still don’t see the Cubs being able to swing an intra-divisional trade for the powerful righty, so, if he’s going to be on the move you’d prefer he land on an AL team like the Yankees. In other words, getting him out of the NL Central wouldn’t be the worst outcome.
Furthermore, if the Yankees (or any team looking for a young cost controlled starter, for that matter) land Cole, who’s a non-realistic option for the Cubs, it would likely take that team out of the market for another theoretically available arm like Archer/Duffy/Salazar, who are realistic options for the Cubs.
So, I guess you’re rooting interest right now is for the Pirates to move Cole, thereby weakening the NL Central and opening up a possible avenue for a Cubs trade down the line.
As for the latter two arms, the likelihood of either being trade remains very low. The Rays still really like Archer and his cost-controlled contract. Plus, they are getting bites from the Twins on their other available starter Jake Odorizzi (more on that later). And the Tigers are said to be holding onto starter Fulmer (who comes with five more years of cheap team control) absent a “lopsided” offer (more on that, too, later).
Luis Medina contributed to this post.