As we're all discussing ways to improve the pitching staff, one name seems to be forgotten around here... Gerrit Cole.
The Pirates are at a cross-road with their franchise. After 3 years in a row making the playoffs earlier this decade, they've failed to have a winning record the last 2 seasons. They need to decide what direction they want to go as a franchise, as some of their key players over the years are aging, and about to become free agents in the next year or 2.
Gerrit Cole has 2 years of arbitration remaining before hitting the open market in 2020. He's 27 years old and has been fairly durable during his career, without any significant arm injuries in his past. His velocity readings are quite consistent since his MLB debut in 2013.
Looking into their prospect situation, only 2 middle IF prospects made John Sickels' top 10. Kevin Newman, ranked #5 on Sickels' list looks a lot like Engelb Vielma.... A defense first, minimal bat player. Cole Tucker, ranked #10 on Sickels' list appears to have more promise with the bat, but still a year or 2 away. At the MLB level, Jordy Mercer is signed for 1 more season.
This may be a good route if the Pirates choose to rebuild by trading McCutchen and Cole.
One of Rosario or Kepler + Nick Gordon + Mejia for Cole. Does that get it done?