Monday, October 17, 2016

Most Popular Article of the Week: Bring Me Gerrit Cole!

There will be no indecisiveness here. I will not spend the next 2000 words telling you why the Yankees need a certain player only to tell you how it’s not going to happen at the end. This needs to happen and frankly I think it’s going to happen. The Pittsburgh Pirates are not going to extend ace starting pitcher Gerrit Cole and you know what that means generally with a small market team, it’s time to trade him now for something rather than getting nothing for him later. That’s where the Yankees and their new-found farm system come in. Bring me Gerrit Cole and bring me Gerrit Cole now.

The Yankees actually drafted Cole back in 2008 if you can remember and the right-hander refused to sign and instead went to UCLA for his college career. Three years later Cole fell into the Pirates lap and hasn’t looked back since as he has been a dominant force for the team since his call up in 2013. In 94 starts in the Major Leagues Cole already has 47 victories and a 3.23 ERA while placing fourth in the NL Cy Young Award voting in 2015. Cole won 19 games and struck out 202 batters in 2015 although 2016, like 2014, was limited by injury. Cole dealt with elbow inflammation in 2016 while also struggling with right shoulder fatigue and lat tightness in 2014 but nothing too serious like an elbow ligament tear or anything like that. Cole is a question mark with health but he’s young and sometimes it takes guys longer to put it all together and stay healthy, remember AJ Burnett?

For this reason, and I’m speculating here, along with the financial implications Pittsburgh has shown little interest in extending the UCLA product and the team may look to move him as he hits arbitration for the first time this winter. Cole is under team control through the arbitration process through the 2019 season so he would not come cheap but with the injuries, the fall out between the club and Cole over salary after that stellar 2015 season, and the Yankees new farm system I think a deal can be struck. And will be struck I may add.

Cole would give the Yankees arguably the best starting rotation in the American League and would make the team immediate favorites in the AL East race in 2017. Cole would add stability, youth and another arm capable of being an ace on any single night to a rotation that desperately needs a reliable arm. Cash just has to make the call and pull the trigger. Cole would come at a “discount” when you think of what it would take to acquire a Chris Sale or equivalent and this is one of those deals the Yankees almost HAVE to make if they are serious about contending in 2017. If not, let Cole go elsewhere and kick yourself for missing out on such an immense talent not once, but twice now. Your choice.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)