Astros acquire Gerrit Cole from Pirates

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

After months - maybe years - of interest in the starting pitcher Gerrit Cole, the Yankees stood by as the Pirates agreed to trade the right-hander to the Astros on Saturday night, according to reports.

Houston is sending pitcher Joe Musgrove and third baseman Colin Moran as the principle members of the deal.

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.

Drafted sixth overall out of UNC back in 2013, Moran has spent the majority of his five professional seasons in the minor leagues, where he's compiled a.290 batting average with 48 home runs and 279 RBIs.

Musgrove started 15 games for the Astros in 2017, posting a 4.77 ERA. Cole, a former No. 1 overall draft pick was an All-Star in 2015 when he finished fourth in the NL Cy Young vote after going 19-8 with a 2.60 ERA and 202 strikeouts.

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Martin, 22, was an eighth-round pick in 2013.

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 put up career lows in several categories last season, including ERA, home run rate and FIP.

The 27-year-old 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.

Even with those lackluster stats last season, Cole is the kind of pitcher the Astros can afford to take a chance on.

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