Pirates trade Yankees' target Gerrit Cole to Astros

Posted January 15, 2018

The World Series champion Astros added a piece to their starting pitching rotation on Saturday, as Houston agreed to acquire Gerrit Cole from the Pirates in exchange for a package including Joe Musgrove and Colin Moran.

Musgrove pitched in 38 games (15 starts) last season for the Astros and went 7-8 with a 4.77 ERA.

Cole will join former Cy Young Award winners Dallas Keuchel and Justin Verlander on a team that just won its first championship. The right-hander has a career 5.13 ERA, 1.36 WHIP and averages 12.8 strikeouts per nine innings. 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.

Cole has been the Pirates ace for the past several seasons.

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A few days before Christmas, there was speculation that Cole was headed to the New York Yankees. He went 3-for-11 in minimal major league action.

Cole probably is only the first domino to fall for the Pirates, who have triggered another roster retooling phase.

He has one year of arbitration eligibility remaining.

With Cole gone, Jameson Taillon and Ivan Nova will anchor the rotation ahead of Trevor Williams and Chad Kuhl. A first-round pick of the Marlins in 2013, Moran has appeared in 16 major league games, recording seven hits in 34 at-bats.

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Martin, a 22-year-old who can play all three outfield positions, batted.278 with 18 home runs and 66 RBI in 125 games between High-A and Double-A this past season.

Martin, who is now rated as Houston's 15th-best prospect according to MLB.com, was selected by the Astros in the eighth round of the 2013 draft.

Luhnow characterized 's acquisition as having a "significant cost" because the Astros "love" the four players they're giving up.

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