Report: Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Yankees remain engaged in Gerrit Cole talks

The Pittsburgh Pirates remain engaged in trade talks with the New York Yankees on a potential trade

The Pittsburgh Pirates left the 2017 Winter Meetings without having a deal in place to trade Gerrit Cole. However, a report from the New York Post suggests the two teams are still actively engaged.

The report specifically mentions outfielder Clint Frazier, which would constitute the first real mention of Frazier being included in any deal. We previously profiled Frazier as a trade target, and came away convinced that the Pittsburgh Pirates should pursue him. From that profile:

For a power-starved team like the Pirates, a hitter with potential for 30-plus home runs would be more than welcomed. It’s easy to imagine Frazier and Josh Bell next to each other in the Pirates’ lineup.

However, acquiring Frazier would necessitate other moves. It’s all but certain that Andrew McCutchen will be dealt, the only question is if a deal it will be done before the trade deadline. Even accounting for his departure, there is still a logjam of talent in the outfield with Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco in tow and Austin Meadows conceivably knocking on the Major League door.

Thus, the Pirates would have to reconfigure their outfield, perhaps sending out Marte or Polanco in a second deal.

Other pieces

In his piece at the NY Post, George King mentioned that RHP  prospect Chance Adams would be included in the deal, along with a second prospect. The debate rages over if Adams — the #53 prospect overall according to MLB Pipeline — or LHP Prospect Justus Sheffield — the #7 left-handed prospect overall — would constitute a better haul.

Both profile similarly, with a high-rated fastball and 60 grade sliders. Sheffield has a slight edge by way of a more projectable breaking ball, but the ultimate decider may come down to how badly the Pittsburgh Pirates desire a left-handed pitching prospect. As it stands now, the club has no left-handers save for Taylor Hearn, their #11 overall farm hand.

As we said when the meetings wrapped, the off-season is far from over. Interestingly enough, Cole may be the first domino to fall when everyone thought it would be McCutchen.

Jason Rollison

Jason Rollison has been analyzing baseball and the Pirates in one way or another for 4+ years. Jason's previous stops include rumbunter.com, Pittsburgh Sporting News, Call To The Pen and several print publications. He also covers the State College Spikes for the Centre County Gazette (State College, PA) When it comes to analyzing baseball, he likes to take a middle-of-the-road approach, with one foot on the analytics side of the fence and the other on the old-school side. Having said that, he is a sucker for pitchf/x. Jason has appeared as a phone-in and in-studio guests in numerous outlets, including Trib Live Radio and 93.7 The Fan (CBS Sports Radio)