Despite multiple sources (Jeff Passan, Bob Nightengale, Ken Rosenthal, Jesse Sanchez, and a Pittsburgh beat writer are a few of them) claiming that a trade to bring Gerrit Cole, erstwhile of the Pittsburgh Pirates, to Houston is a “done deal”.
This story was prompted when an MLB writer, Jon Morosi tweeted that the trade was “imminent”:
Sources: Gerrit Cole trade to #Astros imminent. @MLB— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) January 10, 2018
No sooner had this piece been posted that Morosi was back with confirmation...he said the deal was done:
Source: #Astros and #Pirates have reached agreement on Gerrit Cole trade. @MLBNetwork @MLB— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) January 10, 2018
And now, multiple sources (most loudly, Jerry Crasnick) are saying that it is not only not done, but it isn’t really close, either.
What’s true? It remains to be seen, at this point. Consider this article a running holding pattern as the plane is circling the tarmac. It still seems like there’s too much smoke here not to see a deal materialize, but nothing appears to be “done” at this point.
There has, as yet, been no official word from either club and there is naught but speculation (in abundance) on the web about the return the Astros might have to send to Pittsburgh in such a deal, but Forrest Whitley is widely believed to be off-limits, and Astros beat writer Brian McTaggart is skeptical about the likelihood of Kyle Tucker being involved as well:
I still would be surprised if the Astros trade Whitley or Tucker. Any deal for a starter would almost have to include Fisher and Martes, at least, I would think. Maybe Alvarez, too? https://t.co/wYjcdtUA1j— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) January 10, 2018
Yesterday, Travis Sawchik of FanGraphs had this to say about Cole’s potential for adaptation and course-correction. One can’t help but dream on the possibilities if Cole were to get to spend time working with Brent Strom and picking the brain of Justin Verlander.
For his career, Cole is 59-42 with a 3.50 ERA. More interestingly, in this writer’s estimation, his career FIP and xFIP marks are 3.27 and 3.47, respectively, and he has logged an 8.44 K/9 career mark against a 2.34 career BB/9 mark.