Highly Conflicting Reports on Whether Yankees Are Close to Acquiring Gerrit Cole

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Highly Conflicting Reports on Whether Yankees Are Close to Acquiring Gerrit Cole

Chicago Cubs

This is some seriously muddied and back-and-forth reporting. I don’t criticize the reporters, mind you, because these are pros who are clearly getting strange information from sources they usually trust.

Last night, Jeff Passan reported that the Yankees and Pirates were working on a deal involving starter Gerrit Cole, and it was a matter of “when” not “if” a trade would come together.

Jon Heyman, perhaps in response to Passan’s report, offered that he wasn’t quite hearing the same thing:

This morning, Heyman expanded, reiterating that there’s a stalemate about the primary prospect in the deal:

Later this morning, Jim Bowden jumped into the fray, proclaiming that a deal was close, and suggesting that the Pirates backed off their demand for former Cubs prospect Gleyber Torres:

Bowden’s report was immediately refuted, however, by Heyman and Mark Feinsand:

So, what’s actually going on? Well, reading Passan’s full article on the subject suggests the sides know a deal is going to happen sooner or later, and it’s just a matter of each holding out a bit on the final deal. Even if the Yankees keep refusing to deal Torres, Passan indicates, the thinking is still that the Pirates will eventually accept an alternative package from the Yankees, who are very rich in prospect talent.

My guess is that Cole is a Yankee before too long, which will mean a couple of important things for the Cubs:

  1. It will take the Yankees out of the market for additional pitching, especially considering their luxury tax situation. That means they will not be a surprise late entrant on Yu Darvish, and they will not be in a “showdown” with the Cubs on Alex Cobb.
  2. It will almost certainly be the start of a broader sell-off for the Pirates, who will move out Andrew McCutchen next, and perhaps other talent in an effort to effectuate a one or two-year mini-rebuild (they still have a lot of young, big league/big-league-ready talent, so I doubt they’d strip it all down). In this era of “good teams” and “rebuilding teams”, your playoff odds – specifically, a Wild Card shot – go up quite a bit if your division has more rebuilding teams than the other two divisions in your league.

And then, of course, there are the longer term impacts, depending on what the Pirates get in return. Let’s just hope we don’t have to see the Cubs facing Torres regularly in the NL Central, and thinking about old trades …

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.