Gerrit Cole Links
*Gerrit Cole was at his wife's birthday dinner when he got the news he'd been traded to the World Series Champion Houston Astros. Cole:Jeff Luhnow on the timeline of the Astros’ trade for Gerrit Cole pic.twitter.com/oqpImtHgyu— Jake Kaplan (@jakemkaplan) January 14, 2018
I wouldn't say it was a gut-punch but I was shocked, for sure
Jerry Crasnick notes that the Pirates thought the Moran-Musgrove tandem was a better return that what the Yankees were offering.
(I'm) flat-out elated. It's just an unbelievable opportunity.
*Friday Gerrit Cole and the Pirates signed a $6.75m deal for 2018. He's arbitration-eligible in 2019 before hitting free agency.
*The Ringer: The Astros are not here for your World Series Curse talk.
The Astros' lineup is already the most potent in the majors, and a rotation of Justin Verlandere, Dallas Keuchel, Cole, Lance McCullers, and World Series hero Charlie Morton is the best at least in the American League, if not all of baseball...As is, with likely long-term relievers Joe Musgrove and Michael Feliz, corner infielder Colin Moran, and fringe outfield prospect Jason Martin leaving the Astros' system, Luhnow has completed the steal of the off-season.
*FanGraphs (from Wednesday) has a piece on Cole's pitch usage in 2017.
So if Luhnow could add Cole for two seasons, he could shape a super rotation for 2018 and a really good one for 2019. To have Verlander, Cole and Keuchel lined up in the first three spots gives the Astros a group as good as almost any. And there's quality depth in Morton, McCullers, Brad Peacock and Collin McHugh....There may not be any perfect fits, but this one is close.
*NJ.com's Brendan Kuty talked to a scout who said Cole will benefit from a change of scenery.
*Sports Illustrated's Jon Tayler:
All told, it's a disappointing return for Pittsburgh in exchange for a young, cost-controlled ace. Moran should help fill a persistent hole at the hot corner for a team that has been searching for a solution there since Pedro Alvarez went bust. But you can't help but feel that the Pirates could have done better, particularly given the expressed interest of the prospect-rich Yankees.
*Grant Brisbee: What the Astros and Pirates were thinking.
If the return (for Pittsburgh) seems a little underwhelming, that's because it's not just what's coming back for an All-Star pitcher - it's what's coming back for an official white flag.
*Pirates GM Neal Huntington:
It's the balance of immediate and moderate and longer-term...we felt this was the right move to get these players that are major-league ready with 15 years contribution combined.
*FanRag's Jon Bernhardt:
Could the deal turn out okay for Pittsburgh? Sure, if a bunch of things break right. The point of trading a surefire guy like Cole, though, is to get a return in which you don't have to hit maximum upside on every single guy for the deal to be positive.
I only have one goal, and that's to win the World Series again and bring it back to Houston. And hopefully, bring a lot of these in the near future to this city and turn Houston into the next powerhouse in baseball.
*SBNation: The Gerrit Cole trade is bad news for the Yankees.
With Cole now out of the picture, and few other front-line starting pitchers on the trade market, the Yankees may be forced to revisit the free agent market and fork over a nine-figure contract to the likes of Yu Darvish or Jake Arrieta. Such a move would allow them to answer the Astros' deal for Cole, but would also push their payroll past the $197m luxury-tax threshold that they seem determined to stay under.
*MinorLeagueBall wrote up some thoughts on Moran, Musgrove, Feliz, and Martin.
*Keuchel, Bregman, McCullers and Verlander are pretty excited.
*On Friday, Baseball America ranked the Top Ten Astros prospects:
1. Forrest Whitley
2. Kyle Tucker
3. Yordan Alvarez
4. J.B. Bukauskas
5. Freudis Nova
6. Jairo Solis
7. Hector Perez
8. Jorge Alcala
10. David Paulino
*Whitley, Tucker, Alvarez, and Derek Fisher were declared off-limits.
Moran and Musgrove shouldn't be enough to land you, like, Jerad Eickhoff. The hell is going on— Michael Baumann (@MJ_Baumann) January 13, 2018
*More than 42000 fans showed up at MMP yesterday for FanFest.
You probably saw it, but just to get it on the record, here are the arbitration numbers for 2018:
Dallas Keuchel: $13.2m
Evan Gattis: $6.7m
Lance McCullers: $2.45m
Brad Peacock: $2.44m
Springer wants $10.5m while the Astros offered $8.5m. Ken Giles wants $4.6m, the Astros offered $4.2m. Collin McHugh wants $5m, the Astros offered $4.55m.
*Lance McCullers will revamp his changeup in Spring Training and work on his four-seam fastball with Justin Verlander. Also in that link we find that Altuve, Keuchel, Justin Verlander, and Derek Fisher are already working out in Florida. Pitchers and Catchers have their first official workout one month from today.
*Yuli Gurriel completed his league-mandated sensitivity training.
*The World Series Trophy Tour keeps the celebration rolling through Texas.