So what are the benefits? Well looking at it from a statistical perspective, Cole has had a less than stellar year. He’s sitting at a +4 ERA, and opposing batters are hitting over .250. But, Cole has so much potential, especially at just 26-years-old. He owns a career 3.36 earned run average, and won’t be arbitration eligible until next year, so he can’t become a free agent until 2020.
Cole would also represent a considerable upgrade from the Dodgers’ Kenta Maeda, Hyun-Jin Ryu, and Rich Hill. Those three have combined for a 4.36 ERA and only combine for roughly five innings per start. To be fair, they have looked better recently, but still. Gerrit Cole, on the other hand, is averaging about six innings a start and has been a workhorse when healthy.
What would Los Angeles have to give up? The package needed to land Cole would have to be considerable since Pittsburgh has not yet begun selling off their talent to rebuild. It would more than likely take a combination of two top 10 prospects, along with a decent amount of cash going to the Pirates.
Looking at their lineup, a player like Alex Verdugo would probably be the centerpiece of the trade. A trade of Verdugo would also help to balance the future Dodger lineup, which projects to be heavily left-handed over the next three to five years. Los Angeles might also be willing to part with Willie Calhoun, who many believe the Dodgers are the least likely to hold onto of their top 5 prospects.