After making a huge splash prior to the Winter Meetings in acquiring Giancarlo Stanton, the Yankees stayed busy during the meetings especially in the starting pitcher department. While the Yankees have resigned CC Sabathia, they were believed to still be in contact with the Pirates regrading right-handed pitcher Gerrit Cole.
However, Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic reported this morning that talks have “cooled” between the two teams since the closing of the Winter Meetings. This isn’t surprising, since they don’t need Cole.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 20, 2017
From the Yankees perspective, it makes sense, as with Sabathia’s return the need for another starter is not as glaring as it was before. The rotation currently sits at Luis Severino, Sonny Gray, Masahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia, and Jordan Montgomery. Paired with their powerful offense, this rotation is no slouch, especially considering that the Yankees have starting pitcher depth in the minors.
Due to this, the Pirates were going to have to decrease their demands in order to entice a Yankees team that would now see Cole as a luxury rather than a necessity. The Yankees made it known that Clint Frazier was expendable because of their outfield logjam, but were not willing to deal top-tier prospects for a pitcher who had an ERA above 4.00 and allowed 31 home runs in 2017.
This does not mean the trade has zero chance of happening, however, it does appear the Yankees have decided to move on and pursue other options on the market. Outside of the Yankees, the Pirates have not garnered much interest in Cole, so it looks like either the Pirates will need to drop their price or hold on to Cole.