Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette provided the update Tuesday from the MLB winter meetings in Orlando, Florida.
Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said Monday the team would consider moving one of its rotation members in order to upgrade elsewhere.
"I guess a natural transition is, if we were able to have an opportunity to utilize one of our starters—be it one of our young starters, one of our veteran starter—in a trade that we thought made the organization better, I would think that would make sense for us," he told reporters.
Cole is coming off a down year by his typically high standards. He posted a career-high 4.26 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP across 33 starts for Pittsburgh. That said, his stuff remained electric as he racked up 196 strikeouts in 203 innings.
His best season came in 2015 when he finished fourth in NL Cy Young Award voting courtesy of a 2.60 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and a career-best 202 strikeouts.
The Orioles aren't the only team checking on his availability. Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports noted the New York Yankees are also interested, while Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said the Milwaukee Brewers could become involved, though a trade within the division creates extra hurdles.
In Baltimore, Cole would join Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman to create a highly promising front end of the rotation for the O's.