Gerrit Cole to Houston Astros from Pittsburgh Pirates

Gerrit Cole to Houston Astros from Pittsburgh Pirates

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

Then suddenly on Saturday it was announced that Cole was in fact being traded to the Astros in a five player deal. With the deal sending four players to the Pirates, members of the Astros took to social media to celebrate the addition of the right-handed pitcher. This past season, Cole went 12-12 with a career-high 4.26 ERA and led the National League with 33 starts.

Cole recently agreed to a $6.75 million deal with the Pirates to avoid arbitration.

Moran has been traded to the Pirates along with Joe Musgrove and two undisclosed prospects in exchange for Gerrit Cole, Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports reports.

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Musgrove did appear in 38 games for the Astros last season, posting a 4.77 ERA with 98 strikeouts in 109.1 innings. Over the past two seasons, he ranks 48th out of 92 pitchers with at least 250 innings in ERA, sandwiched alongside Jeff Samardzija and Sean Manaea.

If the Astros can turn Cole around, there's no telling how good that team can be. He'll receive all the benefits of working with a smart organization - although the Pirates are also one of the best in analytics - plus he'll have run support, a shot at postseason glory and the opportunity to use Justin Verlander as a mentor. He hit.308 with an OPS of.916 in triple-A last season.

Outfielder Andrew McCutchen is scheduled to become a free agent after next season. The Pirates' haul is not the best on first glance, but if they are able to get the most out of the players they acquired, they could easily be the winners of this deal. The 25-year-old hit.308/.373/.543 with 18 home runs in 79 games during a repeat trip to Triple-A last year, but has logged just 37 Major League Baseball plate appearances over the past two seasons. However, his power is diminishing and Moran could end up being a long-term solution for the Pirates at the hot corner. The 22-year-old batted.278 with 18 home runs and 16 stolen bases last season split between Class A Buies Creek and Double-A Corpus Christi.