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Astros acquire Gerrit Cole from Pirates, per reports

14 January 2018

Cole, a product of UCLA, was the top pick from the 2011 draft by the Pirates.

In return, the Pirates received pitchers Joe Musgrove, Michael Feliz, outfielder Jason Martin and third baseman Colin Moran.

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Cole, now 27, had a down year in 2017 with a 4.26 ERA in 33 starts, but he struck out 196 batters in 203 innings. The Pirates begin their rebuild after missing the playoffs in consecutive seasons, a strategy that might also lead them to trade longtime outfielder Andrew McCutchen and Josh Harrison, among others. "We expect him to bounce back and be a Cy Young contender". With Dallas Keuchel hitting free agency after the 2018 season, Astros owner Jim Crane made no secrets that the team would seek out starting pitchers this winter. "We are very appreciative for what Gerrit has done for our team and organization, especially his important role on the 2013-15 playoff teams".

Luhnow characterized Cole's acquisition as having a "significant cost" because the Astros "love" the four players they're giving up. He has a career 3.50 ERA in 127 starts with 734 strikeouts in 782⅓ innings in parts of five seasons.

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Now, there's another intriguing arm in Cole added to the rotation.

With 2015 No. 2 overall draft pick Alex Bregman representing the future at third base for the defending world champions, this trade should provide Moran a chance to blossom into a full-time major league player. He was blocked at the hot corner in Houston by young slugger Alex Bregman but could pilfer at-bats from David Freese in Pittsburgh. Feliz has pitched in 98 games over the course of the past three seasons for the Astros and has accumulated a 5.13 ERA. Martin, 22, played all three outfield positions and batted.278 with 18 home runs in Class A and Double-A.

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Astros acquire Gerrit Cole from Pirates, per reports