Astros bolster rotation by landing Pirates ace Gerrit Cole

Lynette Rowe
January 14, 2018

The Yankees have once again missed out on acquiring Gerrit Cole. Earlier this week, there were reports that a deal between these two teams involving Cole had gotten done.

"We don't focus too much on short-term performance", Houston General Manager Jeff Luhnow told reporters after the trade was announced.

Cole went 12-12 in 33 starts for Pittsburgh in 2017, with an earned-run-average of 4.26 - his worst ERA in his career. The Pirates and their top starting pitcher had avoided arbitration on Friday by agreeing to a one-year deal worth $6.75 million.

The Houston Astros will be the team receiving Cole, and will be sending four players to Pittsburgh, right-hander Joe Musgrove, third baseman Colin Moran, right-hander Michael Feliz and outfielder Jason Martin.

Musgrove, 25, went 7-8 with a 4.77 ERA in 38 games in 2017, his second major league season, splitting his year between the rotation and the bullpen. It was also the first season in which he was able to pitch 200+ innings, a feat he has accomplished twice in his career.

Cole burst onto the scene in 2013, and proved to be a driving force on the team that finally broke the 20-year long losing streak.

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In the end, Cole has ended up with the Astros, not that Houston's rotation needed another ace. Cole will slide into a rotation that features Justin Verlander, Dallas Keuchel, Lance McCullers and Charlie Morton.

Injuries checked Cole to 21 starts in 2016, but he rebounded a year ago and was one of just 15 pitchers in the majors to work 200-plus innings. If those players are dealt as well, it could be the start of a massive fire sale and send the Pirates into rebuild mode.

Moran has primarily been a third baseman, though he's also played first base and left field.

The defending World Series champion Houston Astros just got better.

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

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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