Gerrit Cole

Brandon Crawford gets gift from brother-in-law after hitting homer

Brandon Crawford gets gift from brother-in-law after hitting homer

HOUSTON — When one of the best pitchers in the majors faced off against one of the hottest hitters, Brandon Crawford didn’t just come away with Thanksgiving bragging rights. He also got a cool gift from a family member. 

Crawford took Gerrit Cole deep on Tuesday night, and afterward his brother-in-law sent over a pair of signed cleats. Cole is married to Brandon’s sister, Amy. 

“I signed the pair of cleats that I pitched in tonight and I wrote (Duane) Kuiper’s call ‘outta here’ on the one and then (Jon) Miller’s ‘adios pelota’ on the other one and I sent it over,” Cole told reporters after his win. “I’m trying to have a little fun with it.” 

Cole, then with Pittsburgh, faced the Pirates in his big league debut and broke Crawford's bat with a pitch. Crawford signed it and took it to him at dinner. The two still get together after their matchups, and Jalynne Crawford — Brandon’s wife — posted photos on Instagram of Gerrit posing with Brandon and his children. The Crawfords wore shirts to the game that showed a baseball diamond and the message “my heart is on the field.” Where the pitcher’s mound is, there was a tag for “Uncle Gerrit,” and another one over shortstop that read “Daddy.”

Amy appeared uncomfortable when Brandon homered, and their father sat alongside her recording the whole thing with her cell phone. On Twitter, Amy recounted the postgame conversation. 

“That was my favorite home run I’ve ever given up,” Gerrit said, according to Amy. 

“That was my least favorite home run I’ve ever hit,” Brandon responded.

Could Cole trade open door for Giants to grab McCutchen?

cutch.jpg
USATSI

Could Cole trade open door for Giants to grab McCutchen?

Editor's note: The Giants have reportedly agreed to a trade with the Pirates for Andrew McCutchen. Join Alex Pavlovic and Ray Ratto as they break down the trade at 1:30 p.m. on Facebook Live. 

--

SAN FRANCISCO — Whenever a marquee free agent signs in the offseason, people around the league talk about the floodgates opening for other deals. For the Giants, the hope is that a weekend trade, not a signing, might be the trigger for increased movement. 

The Pittsburgh Pirates dealt right-hander Gerrit Cole to the Houston Astros on Saturday, signaling that they are, in fact, ready to take a step back and trade their best players for prospects. The Giants and Pirates have remained in touch in recent weeks, with the front office hopeful that a Cole deal would motivate the Pirates to next trade Andrew McCutchen, per sources.  

Thus far, the teams have appeared to find little traction in talks. The Pirates originally went straight to the top of the Giants’ prospect list, and one person familiar with talks characterized recent discussions as complicated. It’s unclear if the Pirates have lowered their demands, but they generally were viewed as getting a subpar package for Cole, so it’s possible they’ve simply reached deal-making mode. 

While Cole drew interest from the best teams in the majors, McCutchen’s field would appear to be more limited. He is owed $14.75 million in the final year of his deal, and there are enough outfielders still on the market that teams don’t need to rush into a bidding war. The Giants view him as a strong fit for several reasons, including that salary that would only be on their books for one year. They prefer to stay under the $197 million tax line, and despite what some public estimates of their payroll might show, a source said the Giants could trade for McCutchen’s entire salary and still remain just under the tax. 

McCutchen is not quite the player he once was, but he bounced back last season to hit 28 homers and post a .849 OPS. Combined with Evan Longoria, he would give the Giants a couple of veteran right-handed contributors for a lineup that was last in the majors in homers in 2017 and has leaned too far to the left in recent seasons. 

McCutchen’s one-year deal would fit the win-now mode of a franchise that has just two guaranteed years remaining with Madison Bumgarner, and he would help fill the biggest remaining need for an aging roster. While McCutchen has slipped defensively in recent years, he likely would be asked to move to right field in San Francisco, with a superior defender — potentially an in-house choice like Gorkys Hernandez or Steven Duggar — patrolling center field and Hunter Pence sliding over to left. 

Astros beef up rotation, acquire Brandon Crawford's brother-in-law

gerrit-cole-pirates-giants-usatsi.jpg
USATSI

Astros beef up rotation, acquire Brandon Crawford's brother-in-law

The World Series champion Houston Astros just got a little bit stronger.

The Pirates have traded ace Gerrit Cole to the Astros for a package of four prospects.

Cole, the former No. 1 overall pick out of UCLA in 2011, is married to Brandon Crawford's sister Amy.

An All-Star in 2015, Cole is coming off two straight subpar seasons. Last season, he posted a career-worst 4.26 ERA in 203 innings over 33 starts. He struck out 196 batters along the way.

The headliners of the package going back to Pittsburgh are RHP Joe Musgrove, RHP Michael Feliz and 3B Colin Moran. The Pirates will also receive OF Jason Martin.

Trading Cole could be the beginning of more moves for the Pirates, who are shopping former NL MVP Andrew McCutchen. The Giants have been linked to the veteran center fielder.