The MLB offseason has been a quiet front thus far for free agents, as many of the top free agents are still searching for clubs to call their homes. Rather, the offseason has been dominated by the trade frenzy as big names such as Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, Dee Gordon, Ian Kinsler, Evan Longoria, Matt Moore, Yangervis Solarte, amongst others have been moved. And now most recently Pittsburgh Pirates’ Ace, Gerrit Cole has been traded to the reigning World Series Champions Houston Astros.
For the Pirates, a Cole trade seemed a matter of when, and not if, as the 27-year old has been subject of trade rumors and atop of many teams’ wish list. In return, the Pirates received RHP Joe Musgrove, 25, who went 7-8, with a 4.77 ERA, splitting time in the rotation (15 starts), and in the bullpen. Pirates also receive the Astros’ No. 5 prospect 3B Colin Moran, who hit .364, with 1 HR, and 3 RBI over 11 At bats, along with RHP Michael Feliz, 24, and Astros’ No. 15 prospect OF Jason Martin, 22.
With the addition of Cole, the Astros now bolster arguably the top rotation in the game with Dallas Keuchel, Justin Verlander, Cole, Lance McCullers Jr., Charlie Morton, as well as Collin McHugh. Of those six Keuchel, Verlander, and Cole can be argued to be No. 1 guys for a number of teams.
Cole, 27, had an inconsistent season for the Pirates in 2017, as he went 12-12, making a career-high in starts with 33, but also sporting a career-high in ERA (4.26), hits allowed (199), runs allowed (98), walks issued (55) and home runs allowed (31) after his previous high being 11. But with a career 3.50 ERA to his name, along with a change of scenery, where Cole would be leaned on as a No. 3, rather than the No. 1 guy, can push Cole back to his 2016 form, and push the Astros as they look to complete back-to-back Championship runs.