Earlier this week it was reported that Gerrit Cole had been traded to the Houston Astros from the Pittsburgh Pirates, but the report quickly was debunked as "false" and Cole remained a Pirate for the time being.
The Pirates announced Saturday that they acquired right-handed relief pitcher Michael Feliz, outfielder Jason Martin, third baseman Colin Moran and right-handed starting pitcher Joe Musgrove from the Houston Astros in exchange for Gerrit Cole.
"Trading Gerrit Cole was not an easy decision", general manager Neal Huntington said in a prepared statement. This past season, Cole went 12-12 with a career-high 4.26 ERA and led the National League with 33 starts.
Cole, 27, is in his second year of arbitration eligibility. He made $3.75 million in 2017 and avoided salary arbitration on Friday with a $6.75 million deal for 2018.
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This is a win for the Astros and for Cole and a clear sign the Pirates are beginning to rebuild. His best season came in 2015, when he made the All-Star Game and finished fourth in Cy Young Award voting. Cole will be added to a rotation that features Justin Verlander, Dallas Keuchel, Charlie Morton, Lance McCullers Jr. and Brad Peacock.
Musgrove has appeared in 49 games the last two seasons, going 11-12 with a 4.52 ERA and 0.7 WAR combined. He has a career 3.50 ERA in 127 starts with 734 strikeouts in 782⅓ innings in parts of five seasons. He had a breakout 2017 campaign in the minors, slashing.308/.373/.542 with 18 home runs in 73 games at Triple-A Fresno.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.