Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Pirates-Astros Trade, 1st Ld-Writethru,775

Pirates-Astros Trade, 1st Ld-Writethru,775

Gerrit Cole is heading to Houston.

The announcement was made by Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow.

Musgrove, 25, was 7-8 with a 4.77 ERA in 38 appearances, 15 of them starts, last season for the Astros.

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

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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.

The Astros are adding Cole to a rotation that ranked sixth in the majors last season in ERA, WHIP, strikeout percentage and opponent batting average, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Feliz has pitched in 98 games over the course of the past three seasons for the Astros and has accumulated a 5.13 ERA. He'll receive all the benefits of working with a smart organization - although the Pirates are also one of the best in analytics - plus he'll have run support, a shot at postseason glory and the opportunity to use Justin Verlander as a mentor. After posting a weak.697 OPS at Fresno in 2016, Moran hit.308/.373/.543 there in 79 games in 2017.

The World Series champion Astros add Cole, the former 19-game victor, to a rotation already armed with Justin Verlander, Dallas Keuchel, Lance McCullers Jr. and Charlie Morton.

Cole, 27, can be a free agent after the 2019 season.

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

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

The World Series champions boosted their rotation with another big arm, acquiring Cole from the Pittsburgh Pirates in a five-player trade Saturday.

Alex Bregman didn't have to tweet much.

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

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