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For anyone that covers the Pittsburgh Pirates, Gerrit Cole has saved the offseason. With as quiet as the Bucs offseason has been, without the weekly Cole trade rumors, we would have nothing to talk about.
Right on cue, Cole was linked to another club on Monday, this time the defending World Series champions as Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reported that the Pirates and Houston Astros have had discussions regarding Cole.
Sources: The Houston Astros have engaged with the Pittsburgh Pirates on trade talks for starter Gerrit Cole. One name bandied about as a return: outfielder Derek Fisher. For a trade to happen, Pirates almost certainly would need Kyle Tucker or Forrest Whitley as a centerpiece.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 8, 2018
We broke down what a potential return from the Astros could look like.
This makes sense for both teams as other than the New York Yankees, the Astros were the other destination I would have liked to seen Cole shopped to, based on the high-end young talent that could be involved in the return.
If anything, getting Houston involved in the talks could get Yankees GM Brian Cashman to up his ante for Cole. Houston is one of the few organizations in baseball that can match thhe Yanks in terms of quality young talent. If Neal Huntington creates a bidding war for the 27-year old right hander, the Pirates cold come away with a nice haul.
Ultimately, I believe Cole ends up in New York in a deal centered around some combination of Clint Frazier, Chance Adams, and Miguel Andujar, but I would certainly be happy with a deal centering around Fisher and Tucker or Whitely.
Keep checking back as we will have the entire offseason covered, especially once it officially starts going for the Pirates.
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