Astros trade for Pirates starting pitcher Gerrit Cole, reports says

Gerrit Cole Pirates Astros

Gerrit Cole Pirates Astros

MLB Network's Jon Morosi was first to report that the teams have agreed to terms on a trade.

This trade is the latest in a series of aggressive, focused moves by the Astros.

The New York Post also reported the trade. Passan did note that "generally, this sort of thing winds up with a deal being consummated". Now a deal is in place for Cole who compiled a 4.26 ERA over 203 innings last season. Cole did top 200 innings for the second time in 2017 and also saw his strikeout numbers tick back up close to one per inning. Cole lost to Jake Arrieta in the 2015 National League wild-card game in one of the more memorable games of the Cubs' three-year playoff run. He didn't flinch under the pressure and posted a 2.45 ERA in those contests.

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From Pittsburgh's perspective, losing someone of Cole's caliber is hard to swallow, especially as a smaller-market team that doesn't always attract marquee free agents. But this is a clear suggestion that the Pirates are in rebuild mode.

The defending World Series champion Houston Astros have clearly stated this winter that they're looking for a front-line starting pitcher.

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