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American League

Gerrit Cole Taking Off in Houston

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The defending World Champion Houston Astros sought to improve themselves this past offseason.  The Astros identified the need to strengthen an already strong starting rotation.  Houston kicked the tires of Yu Darvish among other free agent pitchers.

In Pittsburgh, the Pirates decided to hit the reset button of the current roster.  Gerrit Cole’s name was dangled in the trade market.  The Yankees engaged the Pirates in trade talks for Cole’s services.  The Yankees front office had been a fan of Gerrit Cole’s for quite some time having originally drafted the right-hander in 2008 before Cole opted to head to UCLA.

Media sources reported a deal between Pittsburgh and New York and just as quickly the deal fell through later that day.  Houston then swooped in and traded for Cole to solidify their rotation.  Houston was betting on the young starters upside.

Cole won 19 games in 2015 while posting an impressive 2.60 ERA and punching out 200 plus hitters.  He was an All-Star and finished 4th in the NL Cy Young Voting.  His 2015 campaign showed the baseball world that Gerrit Cole was worthy of his 2011 1st pick status.

The 2016 & 2017 seasons were less memorable for Cole and the Pirates.  Pittsburgh went from 98 wins in 2015 to 78 in 2016 and 75 in 2017.   Cole saw his ERA jump to 3.88 in 2016 and 4.26 in 2017.  Cole became prone to the long ball as he gave up 31 home runs in 2017.

Gerrit Cole needed a change of scenery and the Pirates obliged him.

Gerrit Cole joined an Astros rotation that featured two previous Cy Young Award winners in Justin Verlander and Dallas Keuchel in addition to Lance McCullers and Charlie Morton.

The consensus was that Cole would be the fourth man in the Astros rotation.  This role would be a change for Cole as he was the ace of the Pirates staff for most of his tenure in Pittsburgh.

Cole has taken this role in stride this season.  He endeared himself to the Houston faithful by joining Astros legend Nolan Ryan as the second pitcher in MLB history to strikeout 11 or more hitters in three consecutive starts to begin the season.

Baseball Prospectus

He set a career best last Friday by fanning 14 Texas Rangers.  Cole’s WHIP is a staggering 0.66 and has only issued 4 walks in the early season.

The Astros offense has failed to provided Cole with run support in two of his first three starts, but the wins will surly come for the talented starter.

Gerrit Cole has always had talent, but no one could’ve foreseen this historic start.  Cole regaining his 2015 form can be attributed to a couple factors.

He has the motivation of contributing to a championship team.  Cole doesn’t have the pressure of being the guy in Houston as the Astros won the World Series without him.

Cole is making the rare, smooth transition pitchers have going from the senior to the junior circuit.  Gerrit Cole is dominating early into the 2018 season, and if he continues this pace Houston will be dominating late into October once again.

 

American League

White Sox Acquire Ivan Nova

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The Chicago White Sox have acquired right handed starter Ivan Nova from the Pittsburgh Pirates, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal and Robert Murray.

According to Fancred’s Jon Heyman, the Pirates will receive a “young pitcher” and an unstated amount of international bonus pool availability in return for Nova.

Nova posted a 9-9 record with a 4.19 ERA last season for the Pirates.

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American League

Yankees “Open To Moving” Miguel Andujar

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The New York Yankees have a future superstar in Miguel Andujar, a fan favorite, yet they have been constantly linked to rumors of being open to dealing him, despite his huge rookie season.

This one, just doesn’t make much sense if the plan is to move Andujar to make room for the likes of Manny Machado.

According to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal and Robert Murray, the Yankees are “open to moving” Andjuar via trade, but there is no clear trade path to reference at this time.

This development clearly shows the Yankees desire to sign Machado to a free agent deal.

The Yankees and Mets have also been linked in a potential deal that could see Noah Syndergaard end up in New York, with Andujar on his way out.

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American League

Rangers Sign Rafael Montero

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The Texas Rangers have agreed to terms on a minor-league deal with right handed pitcher Rafael Montero, according to the Dallas Morning News’ Evan Grant.

Montero is still working back from Tommy John surgery, and was once a top prospect in the New York Mets organization , but struggled transitioning to the major league level, putting together a woeful 5.38 ERA over 192 1/3 innings pitched.

 

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