Come Sunday night, Gerrit Cole will take the mound for the Houston Astros in Game 2 of the 2018 American League Championship Series.

It's been easy to forget given how Cole has reasserted himself as a top pitcher since joining the Astros, but last winter the New York Yankees were suspected to be the team most likely to acquire Cole from the Pittsburgh Pirates. Now we know why a deal never happened. According to Ken Davidoff of the New York Post, the Pirates wanted a package built around outfielder Clint Frazier and third baseman Miguel Andujar. Alas, the Yankees wouldn't budge on Andujar:

Ultimately, the Yankees grew comfortable with a package centered around Frazier, though Pittsburgh wanted Andujar and Frazier. A bidding war did not emerge, as both the Yankees and Astros positioned themselves as content to move on without Cole.

Holding onto Andujar led to his subsequent insertion into the Yankees lineup. He hit .297/.328/.527 with 27 home runs in 149 games -- a performance certain to earn him Rookie of the Year Award consideration. While there are concerns about his defense and his slim walk rate, his ability to barrel-up most any pitch suggests he should continue to be a productive hitter.

The Pirates would later trade Cole for an oft-criticized package that included pitchers Joe Musgrove and Michael Feliz, third baseman Colin Moran, and outfielder Jason Martin.

It's worth noting the Yankees originally drafted Cole and failed to woo him away from attending UCLA. Brian Cashman will have another opportunity soon to try landing Cole after the 2019 season, when he qualifies for free agency.