Gerrit Cole Traded to Astros from Pirates Amid Yankees Rumors

Lance Mc Cullers greets fans

The New York Yankees also are in talks to acquire Cole, but a source with knowledge of the discussions told ESPN that a deal is not close right now.

Adding Cole gives the Astros an outstanding 1-2-3-4 punch with Justin Verlander, Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers in 2018. Passan did note that "generally, this sort of thing winds up with a deal being consummated".

Cole also contributed to Pittsburgh's 2013 postseason run, making two October starts as a rookie. It was by far the worst performance of his career. Darvish is the free agent starter Houston has been mentioned alongside the most, and there are only so many "high-end" pitchers on the free agent market. We're still awaiting word on what players Houston will send back to the Pirates in exchange.

The Astros won the 2017 World Series in seven games over the Los Angeles Dodgers and boasted one of the best rotations in baseball.

The Pirates aren't realistic World Series contenders this year, so any return pieces will help restock the organization as it builds toward the future.