Astros trade for Pirates ace Gerrit Cole

Finally.		 Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Pirates have finally made a decision to move on from Gerrit Cole after trading the right-handed pitcher to the Houston Astros on Saturday.

In exchange, the Pirates receive right-handed pitcher Joe Musgrove, third baseman Colin Moran, right-handed reliever Michael Feliz and outfielder Jason Martin.

Gerrit Cole is heading to Houston. "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 manager Neal Huntington said in a statement.

Cole, the ace of the Pittsburgh staff, went 12-12 for the Pirates in 2017 with a 4.26 ERA, a down year by his standards.

Cole was 12-12 with a 4.26 earned run average last season. The Pirates' haul is not the best on first glance, but if they are able to get the most out of the players they acquired, they could easily be the winners of this deal. Cole will slide into a rotation that features Justin Verlander, Dallas Keuchel, Lance McCullers and Charlie Morton.

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Cole, 27, is under team control until 2020 and made $3.7 million this past season.

The Pirates have slumped badly since those three straight postseason appearances. Most troublesome are the 31 home runs given up, which is more than the previous three years combined when he allowed a total of 29.

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.

With Cole gone, Jameson Taillon and Ivan Nova will anchor the rotation ahead of Trevor Williams and Chad Kuhl. "We just happen to have someone in front of him". Martin isn't well-known, but he hit.278/.332/.487 with 18 homers and 16 steals between High-A and Double-A last season.

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