The defending World Series champion Houston Astros just got better.
It took weeks of negotiations to complete, but the Astros acquired right-hander Gerrit Cole in a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates, according to a baseball official with direct knowledge of the deal.
The official spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because the trade has not been finalized.
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In return, the Pirates received pitchers Joe Musgrove, Michael Feliz, outfielder Jason Martin and third baseman Colin Moran.
Cole, 27, has two years remaining before becoming a free agent. He was highly sought out this winter by multiple teams – most notably the New York Yankees.
On Friday, Cole avoided arbitration by agreeing on a one-year deal worth $6.75 million. He went 12-12 with a 4.26 ERA and made a career-high 33 starts in 2017. His best season was 2015, when he went 19-8 with a 2.60 ERA and 202 strikeouts.
He joins a rotation fronted by former Cy Young Award winners Dallas Keuchel and Justin Verlander. Including Right-handers Lance McCullers Jr., Charlie Morton and Brad Peacock, it gives the Astros depth in the rotation.
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