While the free-agent market hasn't been as active as in past years, the trade market continues to heat up.
The league's winter meetings kicked off in a big way, with Giancarlo Stanton heading to the New York Yankees in a blockbuster trade, but this could be just the start of an active stretch of the offseason. Teams have plenty of needs going into next year, and if they can't get them through signings, they can try to find them in trades.
It's hard to know which players will end up on the move, but these pitchers have gained plenty of interest so far and could be dealt before long.
Gerrit Cole, Pittsburgh Pirates
After a down year by his standards, Gerrit Cole could be on the move.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reported the Yankees are interested in the starting pitcher, although the team probably wouldn't want to trade him.
However, Buster Olney of ESPN noted the Pirates are willing to listen to potential offers and that the Yankees make a natural trade partner.
Cole lasted a full season after an injury-riddled 2016 but finished with a career-worst 4.26 ERA to go with a 12-12 record. At his best, however, the 27-year-old is one of the most talented starters in the majors. He finished 2015 with a 2.60 ERA, an All-Star appearance and a fourth-place finish in Cy Young voting.
Considering he is under team control for another two seasons, any team could take the chance on the high-upside player turning things around and reverting to his previous form.
The Yankees especially have a lot to gain, with a team that should contend for a World Series next year behind one of the best offenses in the league. Luis Severino and Sonny Gray should lead the rotation, but there are still question marks beyond that with spots available for a front-line starter.
With plenty of quality prospects to spare, even after the Stanton deal, it's worth the risk for New York to go after a player like Cole.
Alex Colome, Tampa Bay Rays
Teams are always in the market for proven closers, and a bidding war for Alex Colome could lead to a nice payoff for the Tampa Bay Rays.
According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the St. Louis Cardinals and Colorado Rockies are "aggressively pursuing" the Rays reliever. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times added the New York Mets and Chicago Cubs as possible destinations as well.
Colome led the majors with 47 saves last season after totaling 37 the year before, which is enough for teams to take notice. On the other hand, the rest of his numbers weren't quite as impressive.
His ERA was worse compared to 2016 (3.24 from 1.91), along with WHIP (1.20 from 1.02) and strikeout rate (7.8 from 11.3). He was also among the worst full-time closers in the league with six blown saves.
Still, a proven player under team control for the next three years is worth a lot at this level.
The Cardinals lacked a quality closer last season while the Rockies will likely have to replace free-agent reliever Greg Holland. The Mets could use any help, ranking last in the NL with a 4.82 bullpen ERA.
Any of these teams could benefit from adding a player like Colome.
Matt Harvey, New York Mets
It's rare to see too much buzz for an oft-injured pitcher who posted a 6.70 ERA last season, but Matt Harvey is an exception.
The Mets starter was considered one of the best in the game in 2013 when his 2.27 ERA put him in serious contention for the Cy Young. However, Tommy John surgery and other injuries have limited him to just 64 starts over the last four seasons.
Over the last two years, Harvey has just a 9-17 record and a 5.78 ERA.
Still, his upside is enough for teams around the league to call the Mets and discuss a potential trade.
Heyman reported the Rangers discussed a possible swap of Harvey for Jurickson Profar, although Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News countered that by saying Texas wants someone with more than one year of team control.
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports noted the Orioles could be interested in dealing away one of its top relievers like Brad Brach in exchange for Harvey. This not only matches up in potential salary with similar arbitration projections, but it makes a lot of sense on the field considering the Orioles ranked dead last in the majors in starter ERA while New York ended 29th in bullpen ERA.
Meanwhile, the Cubs could also be involved in a deal for the 28-year-old starter, per Andy Martino of the Huffington Post.
Marc Carig of Newsday reported it is "doubtful" Harvey is traded this offseason, but with so much interest, the Mets should at least consider a deal for the struggling player.
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