The club has said that they understand his unhappiness, but that they can't do anything, due to the way the contracts are worked. It's also noted that Cole, a former #1 pick, picked up a sizable signing bonus back in the day, so, um, sucksies.
And this is the part of the story where the club's fan base splits into meathead / worried camps, with the former talking about how much money that is to play a children's game. while the latter worry that he's going to sulk, get hurt, or demand a trade.
But what's really at issue here is MLB itself. Remember last year, when Kris Bryant was the best hitter in spring training, but went to the minors anyway, because, um, contracts? And how he came right back on the first available date, then destroyed the National League for the rest of the season?
Well, unfortunately, Chicago wasn't justly penalized for karmic issues on that one, unless you count the fact that they lost in the playoffs, and are still ring-less for a famously long period of time. Pittsburgh might not be so lucky, but on some level, this is worth a class-action lawsuit, honestly.
Major League Baseball is propagating a system where the people who consume the product -- i.e., the ticket-buying public -- are not seeing the best available players for the entirety of the season. While still, of course, paying full freight. If you walked into a bar and were sold top shelf, but got bar grade, that's clear fraud and theft. What the Cubs started at third base before Bryant? Same thing.
In the meantime, a system that's entirely based on tenure, which is being gamed by the wildly profitable franchises, is allowed to persist. Year after year after year.
And in the meantime, Cole will pitch every fifth day, with the possibility of his next monster pay day exploding because human arms do that, while people who can't fathom the amount of risk / reward that he's going through will bitch about the money he makes now. As if it's not something that's going to have to last him for decades afterward, or that it would come back their way if it were somehow not paid.
Have a great season, Gerrit! Oh, and don't turn on the radio, or read the newspapers, or look at the Internet. For a good long while, really...