Pittsburgh Pirates trade Gerrit Cole to Houston Astros

The Pittsburgh Pirates have traded Gerrit Cole to the Houston Astros in exchange for Colin Moran, Jose Musgrove & more

Gerrit Cole‘s time with the Pittsburgh Pirates has come to an end.

Today the club traded Cole to the Houston Astros, getting back 3B Colin Moran, RHP Joe Musgrove, RHP Michael Feliz and OF Jason Martin.

An up and down Pittsburgh Pirates career that had more ups than downs

Here now is a look at Cole’s career-to-date:

Cole burst onto the scene in 2013, and proved to be a driving force on the team that finally broke the 20-year long losing streak. Cole was often referred to as a “bulldog” on the mound during his time with the Pittsburgh Pirates, yet that dogged mentality opened him up for criticism. Many were fond of saying that Cole pitched with too much emotion at times, relying on his fastball at the expense of developing other go-to pitches.

2015 was Cole’s best year to date, with sterling marks in nearly every metric one chooses to judge pitching. It was also the first season in which he was able to pitch 200+ innings, a feat he has accomplished twice in his career.

Cole was beleaguered by the home run ball in 2017, but there is every reason to believe that 2017 was an aberration.

What the Pittsburgh Pirates got back

The Pittsburgh Pirates welcome in two right handers in Musgrove and Feliz – the latter of whom is reputed to have a “big arm” according to Jon Heyman. Third baseman Moran, who can undoubtedly help carry some of the load for David Freese in light of the continued uncertainty regarding Jung Ho Kang, had a great year in the minors, Heyman said, before suffering a concussion after getting the call-up. Even though the Pirates outfield is relatively crowded, given the lengthy absences by Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco last season, Martin could be a bit of insurance the Bucs aren’t scrambling for a man to fill the role.

Colin Moran is the number ninth third base prospect overall. He carries a low-rated power tool (45) but hits at 55 and appeared every bit of major-league ready in his seven games with the Astros last season.


Jason Rollison

Jason Rollison has been analyzing baseball and the Pirates in one way or another for 4+ years. Jason's previous stops include rumbunter.com, Pittsburgh Sporting News, Call To The Pen and several print publications. He also covers the State College Spikes for the Centre County Gazette (State College, PA) When it comes to analyzing baseball, he likes to take a middle-of-the-road approach, with one foot on the analytics side of the fence and the other on the old-school side. Having said that, he is a sucker for pitchf/x. Jason has appeared as a phone-in and in-studio guests in numerous outlets, including Trib Live Radio and 93.7 The Fan (CBS Sports Radio)
  • JPksu

    Another no power 3b, #6 starter and daniel Hudson jr. NH – you sly dog you

    • redrage97

      Not defending the trade, should’ve gotten more but thats just not right.

      I’m guessing you probably missed the part of Moran where he changed his approach/stance in recent years that lead to much more power. Missed the part where Musgrove is a pen pitcher now (no worries PBD missed it too). and Felizs whose only real problem is the fly ball (aka not hudson jr and maybe fixable).

      now it all works out though time will tell.. none of them may make the team out of camp, or all three could be all-stars still early to say.

      • JPksu

        I tend not to believe in statistical outliers so while I hope the increased power is true I wouldn’t count on it. Musgrove is a starter. He wasn’t going to be in Houston but he was a top 50 prospect two years ago and projected as a #3. No way in hell the Pirates acquired him to be a bullpen piece.

        • redrage97

          In that case, they got exactly what they should have for cole since we dont’ believe the statistical outlier of his one Cy-young type season. 🙂

  • leadoff

    On paper does not look like much of a return, but they did trade a pitcher with a high ERA, that did not win big games for them. We have a tendency to overrated our own players at times IMO.

  • redrage97

    they addressed their needs in trade. Good, but they got some lower quality. I’m guessing Cole had something to do with this trade too, maybe asking for one or something given his reaction in the press.. If it where me and this was my trade option i would’ve held on to cole.

    Moran was one they had to get in any deal with the astros.

    Musgrove was one of the better relievers the second half.

    Feliz could be great if they can address the fly ball issue.

    martin looks very promising, probably a 4th OF type but looks like he could jump higher. I’m betting he’ll fill the AAA hole in the minors if/when meadows either makes the jump or gets injured.