Pirates reportedly trading Gerrit Cole to Astros
The Pittsburgh Pirates have finally found a deal they like for starting pitcher Gerrit Cole, and the right-hander couldn’t ask for a better place to end up if winning is a priority.
Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports that Cole is being traded to the World Series champion Houston Astros.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) January 10, 2018
The Astros had been openly pursuing another top starting pitcher, and there were rumblings that they could sign either Yu Darvish or Jake Arrieta. The New York Yankees had been tied to Cole throughout the offseason, but apparently Houston offered the best package.
Cole, 27, is coming off a down season in which he posted a career-worst 4.26 ERA, but he is under team control for two more seasons. The former No. 1 overall pick is 59-42 with a 3.50 ERA during his career.
The Astros’ decision to pull the trigger on a Cole trade is another indicator that they could be preparing to lose one of their best pitchers after the 2018 season. But in the short term, Cole should cement Houston as the favorite to win back-to-back World Series.
UPDATE: Reports about the Astros and Pirates being on the verge of a deal for Cole may have been premature.