After weeks of rumors and speculation, the Pirates finally traded Gerrit Cole yesterday. Although a deal with the Yankees seemed imminent back in December, Cole is now headed to Houston. In return, the Astros will send pitchers Joe Musgrove and Michael Feliz, outfielder Jason Martin, and third baseman Colin Moran to Pittsburgh.
All things considered, this seems like a somewhat underwhelming return for the Pirates. Especially considering what the Yankees were said to have offered for Cole. Since the Yankees haven’t confirmed anything, we don’t know if the rumors are true. However, the Yankees reportedly offered to include Clint Frazier or Chance Adams in a package for Cole, but not both.
“...sources familiar with the discussions told ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick that New York held the line on including prospects Gleyber Torres, Justus Sheffield, Estevan Florial or Miguel Andujar in any trade, so the Pirates had to shift their attention to other potential targets.”
It’s laughable that the Pirates wanted Torres to headline a deal for Cole (As our own Greg Kirkland would say, “we all want things”). The Yankees certainly don’t intend to deal Torres, and he will hopefully be a key member of the infield for years to come. It’s also no surprise to see Sheffield and Florial included on this list, since they were also considered “untouchables” last year, but that’s a new honor for Andujar. It is also surprising to hear that the Yankees seemingly value Andujar more than Frazier (since they offered up the latter). According to Jon Heyman, Pittsburgh wanted the Yankees to give up Andujar and that was one of the reasons the two sides couldn’t reach an agreement.
Does that mean Andujar will break camp with the Yankees at third base? Possibly. Brian Cashman recently said that the Yankees are prepared to go with an infield of both Torres and Andujar. The 22-year-old split his time between Scranton and Trenton last year, hitting .315/.352/.498 with 16 home runs. He also made it into five games with the Yankees in September where he went 4-for-7 with two doubles and knocked in four runs. It sounds like the Yankees intend to let Andujar earn the third base job during spring training, but there’s still plenty of time for the team to circle back and sign Todd Frazier if they decide that they need a veteran in the mix.
The Yankees may have missed out on acquiring Cole, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t still improve the rotation. The good news is that Cashman has the prospect depth to make just about any trade happen. He might have another trade up his sleeve before the offseason ends, or the team could sign Yu Darvish or any of the other free agent pitchers left.
Do you think the Yankees should have tried harder to acquire Cole or is the rotation fine as it is?