Welcome to Houston: Astros acquire pitcher Gerrit Cole in trade with Pirates

Welcome to Houston: Astros acquire pitcher Gerrit Cole in trade with Pirates

The World Series champion Houston Astros have boosted their rotation with another big arm, acquiring Gerrit Cole from the Pittsburgh Pirates in a five-player trade.

Tim Brown-a baseball writer at Yahoo!

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.

Musgrove, 25, pitched in 38 games for the Astros in 2017, while making 15 starts. This forced him onto the disabled list, and ultimately back into the minor leagues.

Moran, 25, is a natural third baseman who also can play first base and shortstop.

Three years later, the Pirates selected him with the first overall pick. His best season was 2015, when he went 19-8 with a 2.60 ERA and 202 strikeouts.

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Gerrit Cole is heading to Houston.

The players the Pirates got in return for Cole is a bit underwhelming. While Charlie Morton, Lance McCullers Jr. and Brad Peacock all had varying degrees of success last season, the Astros could use a consistent third starter behind Dallas Keuchel and Justin Verlander.

The Pirates have slumped badly since those three straight postseason appearances.

With Cole gone, Jameson Taillon and Ivan Nova will anchor the rotation ahead of Trevor Williams and Chad Kuhl.

Injuries checked Cole to 21 starts in 2016, but he rebounded previous year and was one of just 15 pitchers in the majors to work 200-plus innings. Moran was a spare piece for Houston, but he is a big-league ready third baseman with a chance to hit for a high average while offering 20-homer pop. He was blocked at the hot corner in Houston by young slugger Alex Bregman but could pilfer at-bats from David Freese in Pittsburgh.

Martin is a left-handed hitting outfielder selected in the eighth round of the 2013 draft.

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