The Yankees have been involved in a number of trade rumors over the course of the Winter Meetings after swinging a deal for Giancarlo Stanton. In addition to being interested in Manny Machado, New York has been connected to a number of starting pitchers they could potentially add to their rotation.
According to George King III of the New York Post, the Yankees are discussing a trade with the Pirates that would bring Gerrit Cole to New York in exchange for Clint Frazier. Dealing Frazier at this juncture does make some sense, as the outfield in New York is crowded with Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury, Aaron Hicks, and Stanton all already on the roster.
Frazier wouldn’t be the only piece heading to Pittsburgh. The Pirates are also interested in an MLB-ready starter, which could signal that Chance Adams would be included in a deal, according to King. Adams appears fairly ready to make his big league debut at some point in 2018, and his path to the Bronx would be blocked as a starter if the Yankees traded for someone like Cole.
Cole is, of course, no stranger to the Yankees. New York picked him in the first round of the 2008 draft before he decided to head to UCLA instead. They have seemed to covet him ever since then. Adding Cole would mean adding another young starter to the rotation with him under control through 2019.
It makes sense for the Yankees to deal from a position of strength with their overpopulation in the outfield. Brian Cashman would obviously prefer to find a taker for Ellsbury, but if he is unwilling to waive his no-trade clause then Cashman’s hands are pretty tied. Frazier obviously has the most trade value among players that Cashman would be willing to part with, and it could be worth it to bring in a starter to bolster the rotation.