Astros Acquire Gerrit Cole from Pirates

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan warms up before an NFL football wild-card playoff game against the Los Angeles Rams Saturday Jan. 6 2018 in Los Angeles

"Trading Gerrit Cole was not an easy decision", general manager Neal Huntington said in a prepared statement.

Former UNC third baseman Colin Moran was traded from the Houston Astros to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday evening, as part of a four-player package for starting pitcher Gerrit Cole-which could turn into more by the time the deal is officially finalized. For several hours Wednesday, Twitter crackled with reports that a deal to send Cole to Houston was imminent. In the end, Cole will in fact be joining the reigning World Champion Astros' rotation.

The Astros will control Cole for the 2018 and 2019 season before he can hit free agency.

Cole went 12-12 with a 4.26 ERA last season, by far the worst ERA of his five-year career. Cole's biggest weakness in 2017 was the long ball as he allowed a whopping 31 of them after only allowing 36 total in the previous four seasons combined. In other words: Best of luck, rest of the American League.

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Moran, 25, went 4-for-11 with a homer and three RBIs in seven games for the Astros in 2017. In 2015, he finished fourth in NL Cy Young voting. Moran raked in Triple A last season, hitting.308/.373/.543 with 18 homers for Fresno, but that came in the hitter-friendly enclaves of the Pacific Coast League and in his second tour of the league. Musgrove, Moran and Feliz have already appeared in the major leagues and should contribute in Pittsburgh nearly immediately. The 22-year-old was an eighth-round pick of the Astros in 2013. This forced him onto the disabled list, and ultimately back into the minor leagues.

All of this led to Schugel owning a 3.19 ERA, a 3.79 FIP, and a fWAR of 0.7 the past two seasons. The stuff is there and it will now be his goal with his new team to keep the damage down.

Prospect Jason Martin is also heading to Pittsburgh.

Days ago it was repoted that the Astros were acquring pitcher Gerrit Cole from the Padres.

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