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Two days after the fact, and the Gerrit Cole trade is still reverberating around Pittsburgh Pirates circles and all of major league baseball.
Call it a function of a slow offseason. It is hard to remember one trade being as scrutinized as this one, even with a piece that carries the magnitude that Cole does. Regardless, the Cole trade now opens up the possibility that Andrew McCutchen and Josh Harrison will be traded next.
Of course, the Pittsburgh Pirates are under no true impetus to trade either, but with Cole gone the door is wide open for an on-the-fly rebuild to occur. Many in the industry, including Buster Olney, believe that the club could not get as much for McCutchen as they would like to. However, many feel that should the Pirates cover some of McCutchen’s $14.75 Million 2018 salary, the talent return would be significantly better.
I happen to agree with that. If the Pirates are truly committed to this retooling, they should have no qualms about chipping in some cash to ensure adequate talent returns. In fact, $6.75 million was just freed up…
Ultimate, I believe that Harrison will be the first to move of the two. His versatility makes him a fit for most contending teams looking to plug a gap or two. The market for Harrison also seems a bit more developed, with the New York Mets, Toronto Blue Jays, Colorado Rockies and more all tied to him at one point.
The dam has been broken, and the Pittsburgh Pirates have officially embarked on their most high-profile reclamation project to date: getting back to contention quickly enough so that the team’s young core can reap the benefits.
Baseball talk on the web
Slightly different track today as we compile all of our recent analysis around the Cole trade here for you in one handy section:
- How effective will the rotation be without Cole?
- What are the Pittsburgh Pirates getting in Joe Musgrove?
- And what about what they will get in Colin Moran?
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