Through the first parts of the 2017 season, the New York Yankees are one of the best teams in baseball. It’s early to start talking World Series aspirations, but looking to the trade deadline has already happened for some. The aspirations are why Gerrit Cole is being mentioned.
Once upon a time ago, Cole was the Yankees first round pick back in the 2008 MLB Draft. Cole though, opted to attend the University of California as opposed to signing with the Yankees. Cole was then drafted again as the first overall pick by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2011 MLB Draft.
Since his arrival to the majors in 2013, Gerrit Cole has posted a 48-33 record. Cole was an All-Star in 2014 and finished fourth in the National League Cy Young voting that year as well. With the Pirates already off to a poor start to the season at 13-20, Cole is possible trade bait.
The 27-year-old has a couple more seasons of arbitration eligibility on him, which means he likely will get pay raises during that time. It also means if the Pirates head towards rebuilding, Cole really is a trade chip. With the Yankees looking more like a playoff contender, Gerrit Cole’s name has been linked in recent time back to the Yankees.
Some feel that the Yankees could be one or two players away from being a World Series contender this October. At 21-10, they certainly have the early look of being that. As is, the Yankees starting rotation is pretty decent.
Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda, Luis Severino and Jordan Montgomery have done well. CC Sabathia has had his struggles of late and is in the final year of his deal. With Sabathia’s struggles, it could force the Yankees to call their old trade partners in Pittsburgh come July.
If the Pirates fall even further out of contention, the Yankees making a deal with them makes sense. If Pittsburgh goes into rebuilding mode, pieces like Jorge Mateo, Dustin Fowler, Justus Sheffield and James Kaprielian could be options in a trade for Cole.
A rotation with Cole, Tanaka, Pineda and Severino in a potential playoff series could be scary. That kind of rotation could make the Yankees a legitimate contender in the American League. With a great deal of position players in their system, the Yankees could use another ace-type pitcher.
The Yankees and Pirates have been frequent trade partners in the past many times. So Cole going to the Yankees in a summer trade makes a lot of sense. Cole going back to the Yankees would be full circle for his career. It could also help the Yankees chances this October if they are a serious contender.
Gerrit Cole could be the Yankees missing piece for a World Series run in 2017.