The Yankees had been in trade talks with the Pirates about Cole for several weeks.
NY also has been linked in media reports to free agents Yu Darvish and Alex Cobb.
Suddenly the New York Yankees could be could be back in the race. The Astros would appear set to open the season with a rotation of Dallas Keuchel, Justin Verlander, Cole, Lance McCullers and Charlie Morton if the trade is completed.
Does the MLB now have two "super-teams" in the American League? Those rumors cooled, but the Yankees are still reportedly interested.
If the trade does goes through, the trade would bolster an already-stacked rotation in Houston that includes two-time Cy Young award-winner Justin Verlander and 2015 victor Dallas Keuchel.
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Cole went 12-12 with a 4.26 ERA for the Pirates last season. His best season came in 2015 when he went 19-8 with a 2.60 ERA, 1.091 WHIP and 202 strikeouts in 32 starts. Now, whether this means they want three Top 100 prospects or simply three prospects they view as top guys remains to be seen, but the fact is it will probably take a very good prospects to get this deal done. He is still only 27 years old and has time to mature still.
The Pirates still have not made a move involving OF Andrew McCutchen either.
At the Winter Meetings, the Pirates also fielded trade talks for Josh Harrison who also remains in Pittsburgh.
As news continues to develop on Cole the picture should become more clear.