Astros Acquire Gerrit Cole from Pirates

Astros Acquire Gerrit Cole from Pirates

After weeks of negotiations and several false alarms, the Pirates on Saturday finally traded ace pitcher Gerrit Cole to the Houston Astros.

Despite making a career-high 33 starts in 2017, Cole posted his worst ERA (4.26), worst home run rate (1.4 per nine innings) and second-most hits allowed per nine innings (8.8).

Cole, the former No. 1 overall pick out of UCLA in 2011, is married to Brandon Crawford's sister Amy. The Pirates begin their rebuild after missing the playoffs in consecutive seasons, a strategy that might also lead them to trade longtime outfielder Andrew McCutchen and Josh Harrison, among others. In 2015, he finished fourth in NL Cy Young voting.

The New York Yankees had been among the teams mentioned in trade talks involving Cole. "We are very appreciative for what Gerrit has done for our team and organization, especially his important role on the 2013-15 playoff teams".

The Pirates have slumped badly since those three straight postseason appearances. Third baseman Moran, who can undoubtedly help carry some of the load for David Freese in light of the continued uncertainty regarding Jung Ho Kang, had a great year in the minors, Heyman said, before suffering a concussion after getting the call-up.

Musgrove could take over Cole's spot in the rotation. Plus, he is still just 27 years old. He has a career 3.50 ERA in 127 starts with 734 strikeouts in 782⅓ innings in parts of five seasons.

Brian Cashman drafted him in the first round of the 2008 draft, but the righthander chose to attend UCLA instead.

Musgrove, Moran and Feliz likely will open the season with the Pirates. Despite that, he had a 5.63 ERA in part because of subpar control.

Martin, 22, split his season between Class A Buies Creek and Double-A Corpus Christi, hitting.278 with 18 home runs and 66 RBIs in 125 games.