The Houston Astros reached an agreement to acquire right-hander Gerrit Cole from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for right-handers Joe Musgrove and Michael Feliz, infielder Colin Moran and minor-league outfielder Jason Martin, sources said Saturday.
Cole went 12-12 in 33 starts for Pittsburgh in 2017, with an earned-run-average of 4.26 - his worst ERA in his career. After missing nearly two months of action, Moran returned to the Major League team in September and appeared in five games prior to the postseason.
The Astros, meanwhile, receive a solid starting pitcher who was once the No. 1 overall draft pick back in 2011.
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Musgrove has appeared in 49 games the last two seasons, going 11-12 with a 4.52 ERA and 0.7 WAR combined.
Martin, 22, split his season between Class A Buies Creek (46g) and Double A Corpus Christi (79g) hitting.278 (132x474) with 18 home runs and 66 RBI in 125 games.
Moran, 25, was a first-round pick in 2013 by the Marlins.
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Cole, 27, made 127 starts over parts of five seasons with the Pirates.
This is a win for the Astros and for Cole and a clear sign the Pirates are beginning to rebuild.
Even with those lackluster stats last season, Cole is the kind of pitcher the Astros can afford to take a chance on. The reigning World Series champions have pitching depth that includes Verlander, Dallas Keuchel, Lance McCullers, Charlie Morton, Brad Peacock, Collin McHugh and a slew of prospects.
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Outfielder Andrew McCutchen is scheduled to become a free agent after next season.