MLB Rumors: New York Yankees Need Pirates’ Gerrit Cole to Solidify Starting Rotation

By Teddy Cecilio, Posted: 05/08/17 06:00PM EDT

The New York Yankees are enjoying one of their best starts in years. They are currently leading the American League East with a 17-9 record, going 7-3 in their last 10 outings.

The Yankees are surging behind big bats of outfielder Aaron Judge and second baseman Starlin Castro. Judge currently leads the MLB with 13 homers while Castro is second in the AL in batting average with .362.

However, the Yankees starting rotation composed of Jordan Montgomery, Michael Pineda, CC Sabathia, Luis Severino and Masahiro Tanaka have some room for improvement. They are currently fifth in ERA with 3.66 and 16th in terms of quality starts.

According to John Harper of the New York Daily News, the Yankees might pursue Gerrit Cole from the Pittsburgh Pirates before the trade deadline on July 31. The Pirates are currently last in the NL Central with a 12-16 record.

Buster Olney of ESPN wrote that the Pirates may trade Cole if their chances do not improve before the trade deadline. In addition, Cole will be eligible for free agency in 2019. With Scott Boras as his agent, the pitcher could ask for sky-high demands for his services that the Pirates cannot fulfil.

Acquiring Cole will also help mend his broken ties with the Yankees. Cole was the Yankees' first round pick in the 2008 MLB draft out of Orange Lutheran High School. Cole spurned a $4 million signing bonus from the Yankees pursue a college degree at UCLA.

In an interview with Bleacher Report in 2009, Cole explained his decision to reject the Yankees and continue his college education. Cole said his three years in college helped him fulfill his potential as a pitcher.

In 2011, Cole was drafted first overall by the Pirates. He signed a minor league contract with an $8 million signing bonus, the highest signing bonus ever offered to a rookie.

In 100 starts with the Pirates since 2013, Cole tallied a 48-33 record with 3.25 ERA and 572 strikeouts. This season, he is 1-3 in six starts with a 3.50 ERA.

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