The Curse of Jerry Hairston, Jr./Eric Hinske:

Friday, December 22, 2017

Yahoo!: Sources: Yankees continue to push for Gerrit Cole, whom Pittsburgh expects to deal soon

The New York Yankees are working on a trade to acquire starting pitcher Gerrit Cole and are hopeful they can put together a package to satisfy the Pittsburgh Pirates without including top prospect Gleyber Torres, sources told Yahoo Sports on Thursday.

The Pirates are highly motivated to deal Cole, sources said, and the Yankees have emerged as the likeliest destination. While the inclusion of Torres, a shortstop prospect, is seen by some as unlikely, one source said even if the Yankees stand firm on not including him, “there’s enough to work with that a deal seems likely.”

This seems inevitable and I can’t say I am particularly excited about it.  Hopefully the Yankees don’t give up too much.

--Posted at 1:20 am by SG / 69 Comments | - (0)


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Ha! I’m not used to seeing articles pop up this late at night. I thought I had missed it from earlier tonight. smile

And yeah, this seems inevitable, but at the same time, it also seems inevitable that Torres will not be involved in the trade, so I doubt it will get TOO painful. If Cash sees something in a trade target, he’s usually right.

The thing I don’t get it if this trade goes through is as follows…

1. So, what, Montgomery goes back to the minors? I was okay with doing that for Ohtani, but for Cole? Seems fishy.
2. Andujar/Torreyes/Torres/Wade are the starters entering the season at third AND second? Adding Stanton gives you a lot of wiggle room, but risking BOTH positions seems like you’re giving up a lot of that wiggle room right away.

I don’t see giving up more than Frazier and a low level propect for Cole.  Seems to me if you’re willing to give up more you could probably get more in July. Plus Cole already spurned the pinstripes one time.

Is Cole even a sure thing coming from the NL Central to be better than Monty?

I think Gleyber will be the starting 2B within a month of the start of the season and I’m fine with that.

I think you’re right about Torres being their second base starter and I’m totally cool with that. I’m not as cool with throwing Andujar out there at the same time as Torres. And I think Andujar COULD possibly stick as a good third baseman. I just don’t see it as a good allocation of resources for a team that should be a contender this year.

For instance, I think adding Todd Frazier helps this team more in the short term than Gerrit Cole does, even though Cole is better at his job than Frazier is at his.

Maybe the Padres would trade Headley. He seems like an ideal one year solution at a reasonable price.

1. I’d be surprised if Josh Harrison isn’t part of the trade. BUT /Peter Gammons voice/ if that aspect of the deal is hindering the transaction as a whole, disagreeing on Harrison’s value, (which shouldn’t be more than a lottery ticket in the low minors) could lead the Yankees to someone like Nunez. Nunez basically is Josh Harrison offensively , while having less defensive versatility. But I really doubt they go into next season with that young of an infield. Although whose to say it wouldn’t work anyway? Torres is a huge prospect, and Andujar can definitely hit. Thing is I think Andujar may be in this deal. Unless Bebop is right and they value Cole at Frazier and floatsam. If the Yankees walk away because of Andujar I wouldn’t have an issue. But with Machado possibly out there after the season, it also wouldn’t bother me hugely to deal Andujar. Another possibility not discussed would be taking on Nova’s contract and trading him. But that would be a bigger risk than previously thought, with owners holding tight to their pennies. I could see Nova being a great fit on the Dodgers, Angels, or even Astros.

I would not give up Frazier for a pitcher who has been league average for two seasons, and I don’t want a trade that puts Montgomery at AAA.

Sending Montgomery to AAA is just so fucking stupid.

Monty wouldn’t go to AAA, they would go to a six man rotation. Or at least they should. (Tanaka and CC would benefit greatly)

I don’t see a six-man rotation as being particularly likely. I think it would be not a terrible idea, but I don’t think it is likely. Monty might get to stick as a long man and spot starter, but at that point, he would probably be better off in the minors.

The key is that I really don’t think Cole is the upgrade that they seem to think he is. But, however, Cashman seems to know these things better than most, so I guess I’ll trust him on it if he thinks Cole is big upgrade.

I think the rotation is very good as built, but it certainly contains plenty of injury concerns/risk. In that, I get the focus on another ML starter. But it’s still crazy to me to move Montgomery out of the rotation/to AAA. And one of the Yankees big MiL strength right now is near MLB ready pitching talent.

As much as I’m OK with starting the season with some combination of Andujar/Wade/Torreyes/Torres at 2B and 3B, I’d prefer the Yankees focus on finding some certainty at one of those positions rather than plug an imaginary pitching hole.

After bringing back CC I’ve soured on a Cole trade. We have a full rotation with several good prospects who can debut this season.

That said, it seems like people are going out the way to discredit Cole. He is good, plain and simple. Even with his average season last year, career numbers are still 4.0 fWAR/200, 3.27 FIP, 83 FIP-, and still just 27. Yes, moving from NL to AL typically hurts a pitcher but if the team adds Cole the team gets better. Plain and simple. Again, I would prefer they keep prospects for our own use or a different trade now that they did re-sign CC, but a Cole trade would not devastate the farm system nor make the ML team worse so hard to complain too much.

The Pirates want Torres to headline the package?

How about an answer now? My offer is this: nothing.

Cashman gets fixated on guys sometimes. Marte, Headley, Javy Vazquez. Now it’s Cole, who spurned him once.

Also, maybe they think Monty’s value is overinflated now, and they spin him off for an infielder?

If the Yankees plan on going hard after Machado next winter (and if they do, I’m somewhat confident they can get him), there is no real reason to hold on to Andujar.

One Option:

Sign Nuni to a 2-year deal at $7 million/year. Trade Frazier and Andujar for Cole.


* If you are “planning” on signing Machado (with a backup plan of Donaldson), Andujar *should* be traded, and probably now is better than later if his defense gets exposed big time this season.
* Frazier, with Judge and Stanton manning the outfield corners for the next three seasons (along with Gardner for the coming season), has less value for the Yankees than practically any other team.
* Nuni will provide some nice offense batting 8th or 9th (Torreyes may end up being a defensive replacement at 3B in the later innings).
* You get to keep Adams. You can *never* have enough high-end pitching prospects, especially when your rotation has two significant injury risks (Tanaka and CC) and two pitchers coming off season-high innings pitched totals (Severino and Montgomery). I’m not worried about one of the Yankee starters going down for a couple of months this season, I’m worried about multiple starters getting hit with significant injuries.

If the Yankees take this route, they’ll still need some salary relief.

I think Cole is getting too much credit for his past performances. He’s been OK to good over the last two years. I get that his upside is huge and he’s still under team control. But he’s not super cheap and the control is limited. I don’t think he’s worth even close to Torres and the fact that that’s where the Pirates are starting worries me.

He brings more upside than Montgomery, but I’m not sure he absolutely makes the Yankees a better team in 2018 (maybe deeper if they don’t trade any ML pitchers away).

Personally I’m pretty comfortable with how the Yankees are currently constructed. If they can manage to shed some salary and trade Ellsbury, go for it. But it almost seems like Cashman is making moves to make moves.

Montgomery was the best rookie starter in the league last season.

Heyman a short time ago

hear there has been no positive movement in recent days on gerrit cole talks with the yankees. they are still apart on the package going back. could be something for later, but no evidence anything’s happening now.

[16] But it almost seems like Cashman is making moves to make moves.

Same.  Cole doesn’t mean much to me unless they’re confident that he’s going to blow up.  But the Pirates probably have a good feel about how Cole is going to perform going forward.

Meh, put Frazier in AAA, try to move Ells, try to get another vet IF/3B stopgap,  go with the pitchers they have and reassess in June.

I want to keep reiterating I would not actively seek a trade for Cole. Severino/Tanaka/Gray/Mont/CC/Adams/Sheffield/Green/etc should be enough depth and quality pitching.

But I still don’t get the discrediting of Cole. He’s only had 1 average season in his career. Every other season has been good to great. I can’t find the tweet I saw awhile back but since his debut he’s been top 20 in baseball in just about every major pitching category. If you’re concerned about injuries, moving to the AL or whatever, fine. But he is good. He is not okay or above average. He is an All-Star level pitcher who is about to enter prime, peak-age seasons.

[19] If the Pirates have the best feel how Cole is going to perform and they won’t stop asking for Torres, then they probably feel he is really good and they want a really good return.

Seems like nobody here is psyched to get Cole. Maybe I’d go Frazier and George Jetson, maybe? Between January 1 and July 30 there will be other and possibly better offers. I’d rather get a professional3b not named NunEE instead. When he dumped Headley I thought for sure he had a backup plan in case.

Cole + Harrison would seem to be the ideal. Slot in Harrison at 3B with the ability to move him around the infield. But I’m sure the Pirates are putting a sky-high price tag on Harrison as well, which may explain their demand of Torres rather than Frazier.

[20] He’s only had 1 average season in his career. Every other season has been good to great.

bWAR by year:
2013 - 1.3
2014 - 1.2
2015 - 4.8
2016 - 1.6
2017 - 2.8

ERA+ by year
2013 - 111
2014 - 99
2015 - 149
2016 - 107
2017 - 101

I have no great affinity for Cole, but I don’t see one medicore season and otherwise good-to-great.  He looks average.  Which is fine, but I don’t think an average pitcher represents a big upgrade for the Yankees when there are other holes they can shore up for cheaper than Frazier+ and $7.5m.

[13] Love your answer!

One thing about Cole is that he was elite before the HR spike which is expalined mostly by the juiced ball. Same as Tanaka. There is a chance he learns to avoid the big fly, but most likely he won’t because that how he pitches, he attacks the zone with his FB and with the new ball he has been killed by the HR because of this.

The difference between him and Tanaka is that he doesn’t have very good offspeed pitches to change his approach.

RAB earlier this week:

Consistently middle of the pack. Cole’s fastball velocity is elite — only Carlos Martinez (96.8 mph) has a higher average velocity than Cole (96.2 mph) among those 67 pitchers with 300+ innings from 2016-17 — but his 2,172 rpm average fastball spin rate is close to average (2,261 rpm), and that’s not where you want to be. You want either a high spin rate (swings and misses) or a low spin rate (ground balls), not something in the middle. This all isn’t to say Cole is bad. There’s definitely value in being a league average workhorse if that’s what he is now. I just don’t love the idea of giving up a Clint Frazier-led package.

Maybe we get Cole then flip him to the O’s as a piece for Machado ?

What would a non-crazy/drubk version of that look like ?

The MLB da Vinci code

MLBTR “9:45am: Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM now tweets that the Pirates and Yankees are close to a deal that would send Cole to New York. Torres is not a part of those talks, according to Bowden.

Dec. 22, 8:17am: Both Feinsand and Heyman throw some cold water on the talks with the Yankees, as Feinsand now hears that the advancement in talks last night may have been “overstated.” Heyman notes that there’s no positive momentum in talks between the two sides at this time.”

I am OK with giving up Frazier, but adding Adams or Sheffield seems too much. I ‘d love Cashman to spend on Frazier and that’s it.

It looks like the big discrepancy with Cole is the FIP / ERA discrepancy. My sense of peoples concern is that he might end up being a Javy Vasquez type. Great peripherals and pitch metrics that result in that great season every now and then, but he ends up being meh most of the time.

fWAR likes him, bWAR doesn’t because of how they use FIP / ERA. I don’t know much about the Pirates defense vs the Yankees defense, but the other major component - regressing HR/9 to the mean - would seem to not be in Cole’s favor in Yankee Stadium.

If you believe in FIP, Cole projects to be the second best pitcher on the Yankees next year by half a win.

I also wouldn’t discount that this locks up the 2019 Yankees rotation as well. If they are really interested in going for broke on Harper or Machado, having a good pitcher who makes $10-$12M/year instead of $20-$25M/year is a probably a factor.

‘13 and ‘14 were both half-seasons, so war/200 is better. But he was great in those seasons, as well as 2016 in a shortened season. Now, that’s 3 shortened seasons so if you hold that against him that’s totally fair.

Also, FIP>ERA.

Career: 83

That is GOOD. My point is, just because someone may not be a good trade, doesn’t make that person a bad player. It seems like some people don’t want a trade and are talking themselves into thinking Cole is a bad as a reason to dislike the trade. The reason to dislike the trade is we have quality pitching and plenty of it so giving up a valuable prospect for another pitcher may not make sense. But said pitcher is good. Factually, he is good.

I’d make a trade for Cole. I’m not really a big Clint Frazier fan.  Swing looks too arm-y, so I don’t think his power will ever take that next step, but it’s just a gut feel.

I guess the other thing you worry about is that someone in the Yankees player department has a man crush on Cole dating back to when he was drafted but didn’t sign and isn’t looking at a trade on it’s merits.

[30] Cole is good. But the rumored returns still seem high to me for a player under 2 years of control. I still think his value is being inflated by his potential compared to his real world performance and 2 year decline (which both FIP and ERA show).

I’m OK with trading Frazier. But I just don’t really like this move in general. The Yankees have a solid to very good rotation right now and a healthy amount of rotation depth. This isn’t a trade they should make unless they get a good deal and the Pirates starting out by trying to get Torres does not sound like a good deal.

Cole + Harrison for Frazier + Adams + low level lottery ticket prospect, would you do it?

I think the reason this trade is taking a while is Cashman has the leverage of already having 5 SP, so he doesn’t even have to entertain the idea of trading Torres. Pirates know Cole is valuable and are only moving him because their HalCap is extremely low so they don’t want to pay him $7.5M this season to help them still not contend.

On the HR rate, maybe Cashman has inside info that they are getting rid of the juiced baseball now that it’s common knowledge and the WS got pretty ridiculous with HRs. If the juiced balls go away, Cole absolutely blows up.

Damn, but Sale came on the market a year too soon for the Yankees.

Trading Montgomery is crazy talk.  If not for Judge he would have had a claim on rookie of the year.  He’s someone you keep, not trade.

[34] Probably. The Yankees clearly have reservations about Adams and Frazier is kind of expendable. But the Pirates have to eat some money on the trade. Harrison + Cole probably puts the Yankees over the LT or at least uncomfortably close.

[34] This seems like a fair deal for both teams, but I’d prefer to wait for Fulmer or Archer or someone else. Fullmer doesn’t have home run issues, and Archer has similar home run issues as Cole, but with 200+ K’s every year in the AL East.

I agree that Cole may just be one of those players Cashman gets hard over, like Headley.

Joel Sherman‏Verified account @Joelsherman1

It is not just Torres #Yankees don’t want to part with in a deal for Cole, but at least Florial/Sheffield too. My suspicion would build package around Frazier/Adams. #Pirates

We know Shef, Torres, Florial aren’t going anywhere. If it’s Frazier and Adams as reported, please say no.

An article from the other side. I think his valuation of Montgomery is low and Frazier a tad high, but otherwise his general point is good.

I find it pretty wild to call Cole an “innings eater.” For whatever reason he hasn’t duplicated his ‘15 season, but this is a guy who was one of the five best pitchers in baseball at 24 and is entering his prime. The Pirates seem like they are being really difficult to deal with, though. I also really wouldn’t worry about Montgomery making starts. Look at the last time the Yankees had awesome pitching depth going into Spring Training. When Pettitte came back people were actually arguing he wouldn’t crack the rotation. Depth is good. I do think Montgomery can take a step forward. But I’m also fine having six viable starters in camp. The stealth move for Darvish is starting to make sense. What if the Yankees could deal Ellsbury and 💰 to the Cubs for Zobrist? One year of Zobrist on the Yanks plus Darvish would be just dandy with me.

[44] It looks like Zobrist is signed for 2 more years and costs a lot next year. Even if the Cubs took on the entirety of Ellbury’s contract, that still wouldn’t give them space to comfortably sign Darvish.

If they were going to do this, why sign CC?

Cash seems to like giving himself leverage in these deals by making it so he doesn’t “need” to pick up another starter.

Would you do Montgomery for Cole straight up?

I wouldn’t.

Lose a good starter controlled for five years to add a starter controlled for two?  No way.  Montgomery out-WARed Cole last year.

Exactly. So why trade for him at all knowing it means he will be taking his spot in the rotation? Cashman is being beyond stupid.

Maybe the Yankees know something about Tanaka’s arm that we don’t?  But I agree, on the face of it I don’t see the need.

[51] LOL, he hasn’t done anything so it’s hard to see how stupid he’s being. Maybe let’s wait for something to happen before judging people for doing it?

53 For sure and I don’t think he’ll do anything on the face of it stupid.

I agree with those of you not excited about Cole at the cost of some good prospects. Tanks seem infatuated with him and he seems he prone to say least. Cash has been on good roll but this guy looks like another Javy Vasquez

Tanks-Tanks he- hr

Tanks yankees

According to RAB, Montgomery actually has six years of control left, though he will be a Super Two.

[55] Whah ?

[56] Uh….whah ?

[57] oooooooh-kaaaaaay….

[53] - He’s talking with them.


Yankees depth chart is jacked. CC not there. Gleybor Torres not on it. Stanton is. Says confirmed 12/22. Gleybor has to be holding a 40-man spot, no ? Why would he not be on the chart ?

[62]  Which one, Fangraphs?  Based on the chat questions and what Jeff Sullivan says on Effectively Wild, they seem to be having a lot of issues this year.

Official NYY site.

[64] - So here.

#6 and #8 on the list…

To go with their previously signed #4. Nice. Cabello is a catcher, too, and the system needed a catcher.

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