Major League Baseball champions Astros land Cole in trade with 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

The Pittsburgh Pirates have traded right-hander Gerrit Cole to the Houston Astros in exchange for third baseman Colin Moran and pitcher Joe Musgrove, a source confirms to FanRag Sports. He figures to open the season as one of the primary setup relievers behind new closer Fernando Rodney, who signed a one-year free-agent contract with the Twins in December.

Musgrove started 15 games for the Astros last season and had a 4.77 ERA.

Prior to 2017, Cole had allowed only 36 home runs in 579.1 career innings pitched.

Musgrove and Feliz both made appearances with the Astros last season. 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.

Cole will likely serve as the Astros' No. 3 starter in a rotation that also includes Verlander, Dallas Keuchel, Lance McCullers and Charlie Morton.

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

Over 127 starts for the Pirates, including three in the postseason, Cole went 59-42 with a 3.50 ERA. 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.

With Cole gone, Jameson Taillon and Ivan Nova will anchor the rotation ahead of Trevor Williams and Chad Kuhl. His career major league ERA of 4.52 is not eye-popping, but he was dominant in the minor leagues for the Astros across all levels.

The first overall pick of the 2011 draft, Cole has thrown at least 200 innings in two of the past three seasons, including 2015 when he was named an All-Star.

The 27-year-old is off a year in which he went an even 12-12, posted a career-high 4.26 ERA and accounted for a 2.8 WAR. Over the past two years, he's played in a total of 16 games with the Astros.

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