Houston and Pittsburgh were able to move past whatever snag held up talks earlier in the week, as Cole will indeed join the Astros.
"The Pittsburgh Pirates have reportedly agreed to a trade to send ace pitcher Gerrit Cole to the Houston Astros in exchange for right-hander Joe Musgrove and infield prospect Colin Moran, sources told Yahoo Sports' Tim Brown. We are very appreciative for what Gerrit has done for our team and organization, especially his important role on the 2013-15 playoff teams", Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said in a release. He went 12-12 with a 4.26 ERA and made a career-high 33 starts in 2017.
Outfielder Andrew McCutchen is scheduled to become a free agent after next season.
In his 2015 All-Star season, Cole went 19-8 with a 2.60 ERA and finished fourth in Cy Young voting but has struggled since.More news: National Weather Service warns of freezing rain, sleet, snow
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This is a win for the Astros and for Cole and a clear sign the Pirates are beginning to rebuild.
The Astros are adding Cole to a rotation that ranked sixth in the majors last season in ERA, WHIP, strikeout percentage and opponent batting average, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
Musgrove did appear in 38 games for the Astros last season, posting a 4.77 ERA with 98 strikeouts in 109.1 innings. He split his year between the rotation and the bullpen, and appeared in seven postseason games for Houston, including four World Series contests. He had a breakout 2017 campaign in the minors, slashing.308/.373/.542 with 18 home runs in 73 games at Triple-A Fresno.