Sports

Gerrit Cole to Houston Astros from Pittsburgh Pirates

Gerrit Cole to Houston Astros from Pittsburgh Pirates

The Houston Astros have acquired Gerrit Cole in a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates, both teams announced on Saturday. The reigning World Series champions have pitching depth that includes Verlander, Dallas Keuchel, Lance McCullers, Charlie Morton, Brad Peacock, Collin McHugh and a slew of prospects.

Martin was the Astros' 15th best prospect and has the tools to be a future major league outfielder. When they couldn't work out a deal with the Pirates, the Astros instead got Justin Verlander.

Cole went 12-12 with a 4.26 ERA last season, by far the worst ERA of his five-year career. If the Pirates are able to transform him back into the pitcher that had a 1.88 and 2.74 ERA in 2015 and 2016, he could be a solid fourth or fifth starter.

A few days before Christmas, there was speculation that Cole was headed to the New York Yankees. He finished this past season ranking tied for first in starts (33), third in innings pitched (203) and 10th in strikeouts.

Feliz, 24, has a 5.13 ERA for his career working out of the bullpen while Musgrove, 25, was nothing more than a swingman in the Astros system.

Cole is in his second year of arbitration eligibility, and players and management are set to swap salary figures Friday. However, the 27-year old is still considered one of the best young pitchers in baseball. So to recap.... after long weeks of agonizing rumors, Gerrit Cole is a Pirate no more. "We expect him to bounce back and be a Cy Young contender".

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The Pirates have slumped badly since those three straight postseason appearances. If those players are dealt as well, it could be the start of a massive fire sale and send the Pirates into rebuild mode. He went 3-for-11 in minimal major league action.

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

The Astros will control Cole for the 2018 and 2019 season before he can hit free agency.

Moran is the nephew of former major leaguer B.J. Surhoff and could become a similar type of hitter, with high batting averages but only some power from the left side.

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

Even with those lackluster stats last season, Cole is the kind of pitcher the Astros can afford to take a chance on. However, it now seems Freese and Moran will compete to break camp as the starting third baseman this year. There's some upside here as he's fanned 165 in 113 innings in two seasons of relief.


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