Just a few post-trade items:
FanGraphs is continuing their dogged defense of the Gerrit Cole trade. Following Kiley McDaniel, Jeff Sullivan takes on the challenge. According to Sullivan, “the return package looks worse than it is because the Astros have too many good players.” He believes that views of the trade are hurt by the perception that the Astros didn’t need any of the players they gave up. He states that, according to Steamer, Joe Musgrove “projects as something like Michael Fulmer” and Michael Feliz as nearly identical to Raisel Iglesias. Sullivan concludes, “I like this trade more and more for Pittsburgh, the more that I look at it.” Well, that’s something. Personally, the “Colin Moran’s new approach” stuff made me feel better.
According to MLBTR’s summary of Keith Law’s subscription-only piece, Law isn’t too down on Kyle Crick or Bryan Reynolds. In fact, he finds Reynolds “very interesting” and considered him the Giants’ second-best prospect. Of course, that’s the Giants. Law thinks Crick could be a long-term bullpen piece.
Rob Biertempfel runs through a pretty sad list of outfield options for the Pirates. He doesn’t discuss any trade possibilities and also doesn’t list Adam Frazier, whom Neal Huntington specifically mentioned as a possibility. Bieftempfel does list Jordan Luplow, but says the Pirates “rushed” him to AAA, as shown apparently by the .914 OPS he posted there. The outside options are Jarrod Dyson, John Jay and Seth Smith. Biertempfel lists drawbacks for all of them, but for some reason doesn’t see the fact that Dyson can’t hit, or that Jay can’t hit for power, as drawbacks. Biertempfel also lists Sean Rodriguez, whom Huntington did not mention. The fact that Rodriguez would be an aging utility player starting in an outfield corner for a rebuilding team also doesn’t seem to be a drawback.
There hasn’t been a great deal on the Josh Harrison trade front so far. The only teams I can recall be connected to him to any great degree have been the Mets, Brewers and Blue Jays. Of course, I have no idea whether any of them are serious about it. The Jays don’t seem like a candidate to me, as they have Josh Donaldson, Devon Travis, Yangervis Solarte and Aledmys Diaz (and Gift Ngoepe!) available to play second and/or third. The Mets don’t have much of a farm system and I’m skeptical whether they’d give up Brandon Nimmo for Harrison.
The Brewers seem like the best match, if they’re genuinely interested in Harrison. He’d be an upgrade for them at second. They’re loaded with outfielders. That includes Monte Harrison (probably headed for AA) and Brett Phillips (.799 OPS in 37 games with the Brewers in 2017). Both can play center. Getting one of them might require giving up more than Josh Harrison, but the Brewers probably could use some pitching depth.