The Yankees have been extremely active this offseason by trading for the reigning NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton, resigning CC Sabathia, and trading away starting third baseman Chase Headley.
The Yankees and Brian Cashman have been linked to many different starting pitchers, but none more than Pirates starter Gerrit Cole. Cole finished 4th in NL Cy Young voting in 2015 after posting 208 IP, a 2.60 ERA and a 5.5 WAR according to fangraphs.
Outside of his outstanding 2015 season, Cole has not been the same pitcher. He still has front of the rotation pitches and the ability of an ace, but his ERA has risen from a 2.60 in 2015, to a 3.88 in 2016, and a 4.26 in 2017. The 27-year old has seen his HR/9 rate increase over each of the last three years as well, and stands to only get worse if he were to be pitching in Yankee Stadium.
Although a change of scenery could greatly help a young pitcher such as Gerrit Cole, New York is not the place for him to try. The Yankees are bringing back all five of their starting pitchers from last season, and have a bunch of depth in the minor leagues like Chance Adams and Justus Sheffield. By adding Cole to the rotation, it seems to take starts away from second year pitcher Jordan Montgomery, which will only hurt his development as a major league pitcher.
Although Cole is a good Major League starter and still has two years left of club control, he is not worth the price tag. The Pirates are asking for the Yankees top prospect Glyber Torres to headline a package of multiple prospects which in the grand scheme of things makes no sense. Torres is projected to be the opening day second baseman for the Yankees, and honestly a middle of the rotation starter is not worth the upside of Torres.