Pirates trade Yankees' target Gerrit Cole to Astros

Astros acquire Gerrit Cole from Pirates in five-player trade									
					Pitcher Gerrit Cole

The World Series champion Houston Astros have acquired right-hander Gerrit Cole in a five-player deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

According to the release, the Pirates got back four players in the trade - relief pitcher Michael Feliz, outfielder Jason Martin, third baseman Colin Moran, and starting pitcher Joe Musgrove.

"Trading Gerrit Cole was not an easy decision", general manager Neal Huntington said in a prepared statement. "We are very appreciative for what Gerrit has done for our team and organization, especially his important role on the 2013-15 playoff teams".

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Despite making a career-high 33 starts in 2017, Cole posted his worst ERA (4.26), worst home run rate (1.4 per nine innings) and second-most hits allowed per nine innings (8.8).

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

Cole has been the Pirates ace for the past several seasons.

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Musgrove and Feliz both made appearances with the Astros last season. He improved both his strikeout and walk rates previous year, and the move to Minute Maid Park is an upgrade for Cole, both in terms of run prevention and strikeouts.

He's under team control for two years, adds depth to a starting rotation that features Dallas Keuchel and Justin Verlander and didn't cause the Astros to empty their loaded farm system to make the deal happen.

The sixth overall pick of the 2013 draft, Moran went 4-for-11 with a triple, home run and three RBIs in seven games for the Astros in 2017. Moran would last be listed as a Top 100 prospect ahead of the 2014 season.

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