The Pirates have shown preliminary interest in free agent righty Aaron Cook, writes Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. About a half-dozen teams have checked in so far, hears Brink, and the Pirates' interest is in the early stages. Cook is represented by Pro Star Management, Inc.
Cook, 32, posted a 6.03 ERA, 4.5 K/9, 3.4 BB/9, 0.84 HR/9, and 55.1% groundball rate in 97 innings for the Rockies this year. Those peripherals aren't markedly different from Cook's past work, so there's hope the groundballer can post an ERA in the mid-4.00s. Recent health issues will suppress Cook's price tag, as he's endured a sprained toe, displaced right fibula fracture, a broken ring finger, and shoulder inflammation. The Rockies moved him to the bullpen in September.
As Brink notes, the Pirates have a need in the rotation with Paul Maholm a free agent and Charlie Morton undergoing hip surgery. Like recent signing Clint Barmes, Cook has a relationship with Pirates manager Clint Hurdle.