Astros acquire pitcher Gerrit Cole in trade with Pittsburgh Pirates

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

It took weeks of negotiations to complete, but the Astros acquired right-hander Gerrit Cole in a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Pirates announced they will receive four players-infielder Colin Moran, pitchers Joe Musgrove and Michael Feliz and outfielder Jason Martin-in exchange for Cole. "We are very appreciative for what Gerrit has done for our team and organization, especially his important role on the 2013-15 playoff teams", Pirates general manger Neal Huntington said in a news release.

Cole went 12-12 with a 4.26 ERA and 196-to-55 strikeout-to-walk ratio while making a career-high 33 starts in 2017.

Cole, 27, is in his second year of arbitration eligibility. His best season came in 2015, when he made the All-Star Game and finished fourth in Cy Young Award voting.

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This is a huge trade for the reigning World Series champion Astros who land another frontline starter to the rotation that already includes Justin Verlander, Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers. He improved both his strikeout and walk rates past year, and the move to Minute Maid Park is an upgrade for Cole, both in terms of run prevention and strikeouts. Cole has pitched in parts of five seasons (2013-17) with Pittsburgh, posting a 59-42 record and a 3.50 ERA (304ER/782.1IP) in 127 Major League starts.

On Friday, Cole and the Pirates agreed to a one-year contract worth $6.75 million to avoid arbitration.

Three years later, the Pirates selected him with the first overall pick. Information from ESPN was used in this report.

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