Few in the professional baseball world of the big leagues could imagine that the Houston Astros have a new figure in their luxury rotation with the arrival of the right starter, the star Gerrit Cole, traded by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The current World Series champions reached an agreement with the Pirates to receive Cole, who as expected would have a new team in 2018, and in exchange for four players, including three with great prospects.
The Pirates received right-hander Joe Musgrove, third baseman Colin Moran, Dominican pitcher Michael Feliz and minor league outfielder Jason Martin from the Astros.
“Changing Gerrit Cole was not an easy decision, we are very grateful for what Gerrit has done for our team and organization, especially for the great work he did in the 2013-15 playoff teams,” said the Pirates general manager. , Neal Huntington, in a press release. “We thought about the future and it was the best for everyone.”
Huntington stressed that what they have received by Cole will allow them to work on the right path towards the reconstruction of the team.
“‘The acquisition of these four quality young players, three of which we project to be an important part of our 2018 team, with many years of potential contribution, is an important step for us as we work to bring baseball playoffs to return to our fans, “said Huntington in his statement.
As soon as the closing of the transfer was known, most of the Astros players, among them the veteran star pitcher Justin Verlander, showed the euphoria and the joy of having Cole as their new partner.
All of them valued their arrival as the best confirmation that the Astros will be ready to defend the title of champions and revalidate it.
The reality is that the Astros have gotten a pitcher who last season had a 12-12 record and a 4.26 ERA, with 196 strikeouts and 55 walks in a personal professional mark after being the starter in 33 games.
The Pirates and their best pitcher had avoided wage arbitration on Friday by agreeing to a one-year deal worth $ 6,750,000.
Cole still has a year to go to salary arbitration and could command a steep increase in 2019, one of the reasons why the Pirates had explored his change in recent weeks, but it was not known that the Astros were among those who wanted its services.
At 27, Cole has a 3.50 ERA in five seasons in the Major Leagues with a winning record of 59-42, and in 2015 he was selected to the All-Star Game, when he finished fourth in the voting for the Cy Young Award. the National League, so the Astros get another young player already consecrated.
While the Astros let go young Musgrove, 25, who opened 15 games in 2017, with a 4.77 ERA in what was his first full season in the majors as a starter.
He also made seven relief appearances in the finals and took the victory in Game 5 of the World Series after pitching a no-race entry.
“Joe Musgrove fits the mold of most major league starting pitchers,” said Huntington. “He is physical, athletic, has an arsenal of multiple pitches and ability to attack the hitters of the majors.”
While Moran, 25, was considered the number 5 prospect of the Astros.
Feliz, the 24-year-old right-hander, got 5.63 ERA in 46 appearances as a reliever for the Astros in 2017 and Martin, 22, was considered the 15th prospect for the Houston team.