Pirates trade Yankees' target Gerrit Cole to Astros

Ross Houston
January 14, 2018

Today the club traded Cole to the Houston Astros, getting back 3B Colin Moran, RHP Joe Musgrove, RHP Michael Feliz and OF Jason Martin.

The move places Cole in the middle of an already strong pitching staff in Houston, which features future Hall of Famer Justin Verlander, 2015 Cy Young Award victor Dallas Keuchel, World Series Game 7 hero Charlie Morton, Lance McCullers Jr., Brad Peacock and Collin McHugh. They're hoping Gerrit Cole can make it three. In the end, Cole will in fact be joining the reigning World Champion Astros' rotation.

The Pittsburgh Pirates welcome in two right handers in Musgrove and Feliz - the latter of whom is reputed to have a "big arm" according to Jon Heyman.

Cole will join All-Stars Dallas Keuchel and Justin Verlander on a team that just won its first crown.

Cole is coming off a career-worst ERA at 4.26 in 203 innings pitched, but he remains one of the hardest throwers in the game.

"We don't focus too much on short-term performance", Houston General Manager Jeff Luhnow told reporters after the trade was announced.

In his 2015 All-Star season, Cole went 19-8 with a 2.60 ERA and finished fourth in Cy Young voting but has struggled since.

"This move gives us a better chance over the next two years to repeat and hopefully get another championship", Luhnow said.

He made $3.75 million in 2017 and avoided salary arbitration on Friday with a $6.75 million deal for 2018.

Three years later, the Pirates selected him with the first overall pick.

After weeks of negotiations and several false alarms, the Pirates on Saturday finally traded ace pitcher Gerrit Cole to the Houston Astros. "We are very appreciative for what Gerrit has done for our team and organization, especially his important role on the 2013-15 playoff teams".

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