Astros heat up hot stove by acquiring Pirates ace Gerrit Cole


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.

Cole was reportedly destined for pinstripes in December and then was reportedly heading to Houston earlier this week, which was denied by both parties.

Ken Rosenthal, a national baseball writer for The Athletic, also confirmed this report with a source of his own, saying that Cole was indeed traded to the Astros.

Days ago it was repoted that the Astros were acquring pitcher Gerrit Cole from the Padres.

Cole went 12-12 with a 4.26 ERA and 196 strikeouts in 33 starts in 2017.

Cole had signed a one-year extension with Pittsburgh on Friday for $6.75 million.

Pittsburgh traded the pitcher to the Astros on Saturday in return for a package centered around Joe Musgrove and Colin Moran, according to Yahoo Sports. After all, he's only two years removed from an All-Star season in which he finished fourth in the NL Cy Young voting after posting a 2.60 ERA and 202 strikeouts in 208 innings. They're hoping Gerrit Cole can make it three.

Verlander and Keuchel were quite pleased with the move. He hit.308 with an OPS of.916 in triple-A last season.

The pressing question for the Astros, though, is what version of Cole they're going to get.

Luhnow characterized Cole's acquisition as having a "significant cost" because the Astros "love" the four players they're giving up.

Cole, 27, has two years remaining before becoming a free agent.

Prior to 2017, Cole had allowed only 36 home runs in 579.1 career innings pitched. He was blocked at the hot corner in Houston by young slugger Alex Bregman but could pilfer at-bats from David Freese in Pittsburgh. He's a giant, hard-throwing right-hander who posted an ugly 5.63 ERA in 48 bullpen innings in 2017. The 22-year-old batted.278 with 18 home runs and 16 stolen bases last season split between Class A Buies Creek and Double-A Corpus Christi.