Pirates trade RHP Cole to Astros

Pirates deal Gerrit Cole to Astros for four players, including pitcher Joe Musgrove

As we move into the post-Cole Era, the Pittsburgh Pirates are now just 31 days away from their first workout of Spring Training at Pirate City. Earlier this week, there were reports that a deal between these two teams involving Cole had gotten done.

Not long after the Astros spent the afternoon at a jam-packed Minute Maid Park for the annual Fanfest, general manager Jeff Luhnow was able to finalize a major trade to land starting pitcher Gerrit Cole from the Pirates. In 2017, meanwhile, he stayed healthy but was a mess on the mound, lit up to the tune of a 4.26 ERA and a full-season worst 101 ERA+.

Cole had signed a one-year extension with Pittsburgh on Friday for $6.75 million.

The Pittsburgh Pirates have finally chose to move on from Gerrit Cole after trading the right-handed pitcher to the Houston Astros on Saturday.

Musgrove did appear in 38 games for the Astros last season, posting a 4.77 ERA with 98 strikeouts in 109.1 innings.

Cole finished fourth in the National League Cy Young voting in 2015 and made the All-Star team, but has been much less effective in his other four seasons. The Astros are already led by Dallas Keuchel and Justin Verlander. He hit.308 with 18 home runs and 63 RBIs in 79 games with Triple-A Fresno.


In the end, Cole has ended up with the Astros, not that Houston's rotation needed another ace.

The players the Pirates got in return for Cole is a bit underwhelming.

The World Series champion Astros add Cole, the former 19-game victor, to a rotation already armed with Justin Verlander, Dallas Keuchel, Lance McCullers Jr. and Charlie Morton.

Even with those lackluster stats last season, Cole is the kind of pitcher the Astros can afford to take a chance on. He was blocked at the hot corner in Houston by young slugger Alex Bregman but could pilfer at-bats from David Freese in Pittsburgh. But adding Cole gives them the best rotation in baseball, putting them in a great position to repeat as World Series champions in 2018.

Feliz is a hard-throwing right-handed reliever who struck out 13.13 batters per nine innings in 46 appearances last season.

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.

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