Sources: Astros to acquire right-hander Gerrit Cole

Tim Brown
MLB columnist
Starting pitcher Gerrit Cole was traded Saturday to the Houston Astros, sources tell Yahoo Sports. (AP)

The Houston Astros reached an agreement to acquire right-hander Gerrit Cole from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for right-handers Joe Musgrove and Michael Feliz, infielder Colin Moran and minor-league outfielder Jason Martin, sources said Saturday.

The World Series champion Astros add Cole, the former 19-game winner, to a rotation already armed with Justin Verlander, Dallas Keuchel, Lance McCullers Jr. and Charlie Morton. The Pirates begin their rebuild after missing the playoffs in consecutive seasons, a strategy that might also lead them to trade longtime outfielder Andrew McCutchen and Josh Harrison, among others.

Cole, 27, can be a free agent after the 2019 season. He will make $6.75 million in 2018. The one-time All-Star was 12-12 with a 4.26 ERA last season. In his career, he is 59-42 with a 3.50 ERA.

In seeking further depth for the rotation, the Astros skirted a free-agent market featuring the likes of Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta.

Musgrove, 25, was 7-8 with a 4.77 ERA in 38 appearances, 15 of them starts, last season for the Astros. Feliz, a 25-year-old reliever, struck out 165 batters in 113 innings over the past two seasons. He also had a 4.94 ERA. Moran, 25, batted .301 with 18 home runs in 82 minor-league games, and was four for 11 over seven games with the big club. Martin, 22, played all three outfield positions and batted .278 with 18 home runs in Class A and Double-A.

Since the final day of August, the Astros have traded seven players, five of them minor-leaguers, to acquire Verlander, who won four games last postseason, and Cole.

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