It’s already known that the Yankees pursued a trade for right-hander Gerrit Cole last winter before the Pirates ultimately sent him to the Astros in mid-January. Ken Davidoff of the New York Post sheds more light on the talks between the Yankees and Pirates, reporting that the Bucs wanted both outfielder Clint Frazier and third baseman Miguel Andujar in exchange for Cole. The Yankees were willing to part with Frazier, as was previously reported, but weren’t on board with adding Andujar to the package. Consequently, the Pirates chose the Astros’ four-player offer, one which yielded modest returns in 2018. Cole has enjoyed an ace-caliber season in Houston, meanwhile, and concussion issues prevented Frazier from making a big league impact this year. Whether Cole would have performed similarly had he gone to New York is anyone’s guess, of course, and the Yankees can take solace in knowing they made out well by keeping Andujar. The 23-year-old’s a strong candidate for top rookie honors in the American League after slashing .298/.328/.527 (128 wRC+) with 76 extra-base hits – including 27 home runs and an AL rookie record-tying 47 doubles – en route to 2.7 fWAR.
More from around the game…
- There’s uncertainty in the Mets’ search for a new head of baseball operations, Mike Puma of the New York Post hears. It’s possible the Mets will tab both a president of baseball ops and a general manager, but club officials have gone back and forth on that lately and are leaning toward hiring only one person, Puma reports. Moreover, the Mets remain unsure whether to tab an old-school or new-school mind for the role, per Puma.
- The Mets had now-successful Brewers GM David Stearns under their employ as an intern a decade ago, Tim Healey of Newsday notes, pointing out that Stearns is a Manhattan native who grew up rooting for the Amazins. During his short time with the Mets, their baseball department – led by then-GM Omar Minaya – “badly wanted to hire” Stearns on a full-time basis, according to Healey. However, they couldn’t get approval on adding another full-time position from owner Fred Wilpon and COO Jeff Wilpon, Healey relays. Stearns went on to a few other jobs elsewhere before becoming the Brewers’ GM in September 2015. No one knows where Stearns would be now had he risen to a more prominent role with the Mets all those years ago, but it’s an interesting what-if.
- Trey Hillman announced Saturday that he’ll step down as the manager of SK Wyverns of the Korea Baseball Organization after the season, citing family reasons, the Yonhap News Agency reports. Hillman left his post as the Astros’ bench coach in 2016 to immigrate to South Korea, where he has led the Wyverns to back-to-back playoff berths. The 55-year-old is likely best known for his stint as the manager of the Royals from 2008-10. Kansas City went 152-207 under Hillman, whose reign directly preceded the ongoing Ned Yost era.