Pittsburgh Pirates: Who is The “Mystery” Team is in on Cole?

(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

Yesterday morning, it seemed that Gerrit Cole was going to be a Houston Astro.  Today, he is still a Pittsburgh Pirate.  What is the latest rumors on the big righty?

What a whirlwind of a day yesterday was for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Gerrit Cole, and both the Houston Astros and Pittsburgh Pirates fan base.  As of noon yesterday, it seemed that Gerrit Cole was going to be catching a flight to Houston.  As many of you already know, Jon Paul Morosi of MLB Network reported that the Pittsburgh Pirates and Houston Astros had agreed to a Gerrit Cole trade.  After this, it only took one hour for many other insiders to refute the report by Morosi.

One of the insiders who refuted the report was Jon Heyman.  Heyman notes that the two sides had extensive talks throughout the last few days, but a deal is not close.  He also added that late Tuesday night another team entered the Cole sweepstakes.  Many of course assumed that this was the New York Yankees getting their hat back in the ring.  Speculation was that the Pittsburgh Pirates were using the Astros talks to motivate the New York Yankees.  However, Heyman also notes that the new team involved was not the Yankees.

Heyman’s Tweet:

"“getting the impression cole to astros isn’t necessarily close, at least not at the moment. also heard last night there was another team trying for cole, too (not the yankees)”"

So if not the New York Yankees, then who could be this other team making a push to get Cole?  As of now, we do know some other teams that have shown interest.  So far, the Minnesota Twins, Baltimore Orioles, Texas Rangers, Chicago Cubs, and Milwaukee Brewers have had some level of interest.  The only team on this list that really has the assets to acquire Cole would be the Twins, Cubs, and Brewers.  The Cubs and Brewers are unlikely, with them being NL Central rivals.

Who are some other teams that would make sense to be making a let push for Gerrit Cole?  The first team that comes to mind is the Los Angeles Dodgers.  The Dodgers lost in the World Series, and they most likely will lose Yu Darvish to free agency.  Meanwhile, the Dodgers have sat back most of this offseason and could be waiting in the wings to make a splash.  They also have a strong farm system and could offer a fair return.

Next: Bucs Should Trade Cole to the Astros

Another team that could show interest is the Phillies.  The Phillies are looking like they are ready to try to compete once again. Adding Cole would give them a top of a rotation arm over the next two seasons.  After years of rebuilding their farm, they would have the pieces to acquire Cole.  Other teams that could look to add starting pitching are the Rockies, Indians, and Nationals, though these three would seem to be more on the fringe of the starting pitching market, with the latter two potentially looking at a slight upgrade to an already area of strength.  We will see if it is ever revealed who this mystery team is over the next few days.