The Pirates will hold on to Gerrit Cole but finally trade Andrew McCutchen
While general manager Neal Huntington hasn't sounded particularly inclined to move Cole amid a season in which he's yielded 1.6 homers per nine en route to a career-worst 4.35 ERA, the hard-throwing righty is now said to be available for the right offer. Cole still has two years of club control remaining after this season, and given that the Bucs view themselves as capable of contending next year, it makes sense to hold onto him.
As for Cutch, he just peeled off a 42-game, 11-homer, .403/.500/.718 binge that has lifted his overall line to .294/.382/.518, but much of his value has been negated by his defense in centerfield (-15 DRS, after -28 last year), the position he returned to when Starlin Marte was suspended for a failed PED test earlier this season. With prospect Austin Meadows still waiting in the wings despite a subpar showing in Triple A, it makes sense to trade McCutchen while his value is high; his salary (roughly $6 million remaining this year with a $14.5 million option for next) should facilitate a strong return. As to where he’ll go, the crystal ball is a little murky on that one.