ShareThis Page

'No evidence' Pirates aggressively trying to trade Gerrit Cole, agent Scott Boras says

Rob Biertempfel
| Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017, 12:09 p.m.
Pirates pitcher Gerrit Cole delivers during the sixth inning against the Cardinals Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates pitcher Gerrit Cole delivers during the sixth inning against the Cardinals Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, at PNC Park.
Pirates pitcher Gerrit Cole throws during the third inning against the Padres Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates pitcher Gerrit Cole throws during the third inning against the Padres Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017, at PNC Park.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — As the winter meetings slog toward their finish line, the Pirates might be plotting a roster move that could catch even agent Scott Boras by surprise.

On Wednesday, the Pirates and Yankees kept in touch about a potential trade that would send ace pitcher Gerrit Cole to New York. The two teams appear to match up well for a deal.

The Yankees crave more star power to bolster a rotation that already includes Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka and Sonny Gray. The Pirates are intrigued by two of the Yankees top prospects, outfielder Clint Frazier and third baseman Miguel Andujar.

Boras has represented Cole since 2011. On Wednesday morning, Boras said he "had no evidence" the Pirates were eager to trade the former first-round pick.

"Whenever you're a great player in Pittsburgh and you've got four years of service, people start talking about luggage," Boras said. "That's just part of what the Pirates do and have done. As far as I know, Gerrit is going to be a principal part of their plan for 2018."

Several teams have inquired about Cole this offseason, but the Yankees appear to be the most determined — and most patient.

Cole, 27, has two years of team control remaining and is projected to make $7.5 million next season. This past season, he went 12-12 with a career-high 4.26 ERA.

Boras often encourages his clients to set their value in the marketplace. The Pirates have not approached Cole, who will be a free agent after the 2019 season, about a multi-year extension.

With the Pirates looking to retool their roster, Cole would benefit by moving to a team with a better chance to win. That's not the Pirates' concern, Boras said.

"I'm not sure that meeting is happening," Boras said. "I'm not sure the Pirates are talking about, 'Let's sit down and talk about what's best for Gerrit Cole.' I think they're talking about what's best for their franchise and how they can best leverage him and utilize him for their immediate needs.

"There's a franchise where their franchise value has just quadrupled since they bought it. Ownership might decide to take a different tack at being more on the road to Playoffville. We'll see."

Rob Biertempfel is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at rbiertempfel@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.