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Pirates notes: Keller, Cole and signings

There’s a good podcast at Baseball America — which is not in the subscriber area — on the Pirates’ farm system. The good news is that the guys on the podcast raved about Mitch Keller. It’s worth a listen. Among other things, scouts that BA talked to said Keller went into the AFL with a 45 change and came out with a 55.

The discussion on Austin Meadows is not so optimistic. In doing the International League top 20 this year, BA found no support for Meadows. Ugh.

The BA guys aren’t real high on Kevin Newman, either, due to a sense that he lacks any particularly strong tool. In particular, he lacks power and his speed was grading out below average late in the year. The BA guys seemed more interested in Cole Tucker.

Also some discussion about Luis Escobar and Taylor Hearn.

On the international front, the Pirates have made a couple more signings:

The lefty is named Abraham Rosario. It’s not known yet what country either comes from. The Pirates also voided (sub. req’d) the contract of 20-year-old right hander Wandi Encarnacion, who was not a prominent signee.

Finally, there’s the report that talks between the Pirates and Yankees about Gerrit Cole have cooled. The assumption seems to be that the sticking point is Gleyber Torres, but I wouldn’t necessarily make that assumption. I don’t think the Pirates got anywhere near as close to trading Andrew McCutchen to Washington as the media reports had it.

UPDATE: As Thunder noted, the Cole talks with the Yankees suddenly became uncool, or something.