Pirates' Gerrit Cole Traded To Houston Astros

Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Gerrit Cole

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To the victors go the spoils, with the defending World Series champion Houston Astros reportedly agreeing to a trade for Pittsburgh Pirates ace Gerrit Cole.

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

A few days before Christmas, there was speculation that Cole was headed to the New York Yankees.

FanRag Sports' Jon Heyman first reported the details of the deal.

Cole probably is only the first domino to fall for the Pirates, who have triggered another roster retooling phase.

He played in nine games for the Astros in 2016-and seven more last season-before suffering a freak injury when he fouled a ball off of his own face. Martin was originally an eighth-round pick by the Astros in the 2013 draft. He split last season at High- and Double-A and batted a combined.278 with an.819 OPS. After missing nearly two months of action, Moran returned to the Major League team in September and appeared in five games prior to the postseason. He had a breakout 2017 campaign in the minors, slashing.308/.373/.542 with 18 home runs in 73 games at Triple-A Fresno.

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Moran was drafted with the sixth overall pick in 2013 by the Miami Marlins.

Feliz, 24, has appeared in 98 games over the past three seasons. The one-time All-Star was 12-12 with a 4.26 ERA last season.

The Pirates or Astros have yet to officially announce the trade, and there were reports of a trade for Cole that surfaced Wednesday, which turned out to be false. If everything breaks right, the Astros are getting a gem here. Now they'll have to pivot if they want to add another starting pitcher.

This is a win for the Astros and for Cole and a clear sign the Pirates are beginning to rebuild.

On his day, Cole could be a top 10 pitcher.

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