Pirates trade Gerrit Cole to Houston

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

Pirates trade Gerrit Cole to Houston

The Astros, the reigning World Series champions, will add Cole to an already stacked rotation that features Dallas Keuchel, Justin Verlander, Charlie Morton, Lance McCullers and Collin McHugh.

OFFICIAL: The #Astros have acquired Gerrit Cole from the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Moran, 25, is a natural third baseman who also can play first base and shortstop.

Martin, 22, split his season between Class A Buies Creek (46g) and Double A Corpus Christi (79g) hitting.278 (132x474) with 18 home runs and 66 RBI in 125 games. He has a career 3.50 ERA in 127 starts with 734 strikeouts in 782⅓ innings in parts of five seasons. He has one year of arbitration remaining and could command a hefty salary bump in 2019, one of the reasons the Pirates had explored trading him in recent weeks. The Astros likely were eager to get the deal done before those numbers were set.

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He went 12-12 over 33 starts and compiled a 4.26 ERA in 2017, a season after he missed serious time with elbow inflammation.

Outfielder Andrew McCutchen is scheduled to become a free agent after next season. With the Astros, Cole has a potent lineup with Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa leading the way and he can safely slot into the No. 3 spot in the rotation. Reports were that the Yankees would have been willing to include ex-top prospect Clint Frazier, a 23-year-old left fielder blocked Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, in a deal for Cole.

This is a win for the Astros and for Cole and a clear sign the Pirates are beginning to rebuild.

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