31 days until the Pittsburgh Pirates have their first spring workout

Esther Moore
January 15, 2018

After what seemed like a never-ending saga, the Pittsburgh Pirates have finally parted ways with right handed starter Gerrit Cole.

The official trade is Cole heading to the Astros in exchange for Colin, Joe Musgrove, Michael Feliz and Jason Martin. 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. He has a 3.50 ERA with 749 hits allowed and 734 strikeouts in 782.1 innings in five seasons.

Prior to 2017, Cole had allowed only 36 home runs in 579.1 career innings pitched.

He played in nine games for the Astros in 2016-and seven more last season-before suffering a freak injury when he fouled a ball off of his own face.

Musgrove, 25, went 7-8 with a 4.77 ERA in 38 games in 2017, his second major league season, splitting his year between the rotation and the bullpen. The reigning World Series champions have pitching depth that includes Verlander, Dallas Keuchel, Lance McCullers, Charlie Morton, Brad Peacock, Collin McHugh and a slew of prospects.

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On Friday, and the Pirates reached agreement on a one-year contract worth $6.75 million.

The players the Pirates got in return for Cole is a bit underwhelming.

Musgrove will now compete with Tyler Glasnow and Steven Brault for the fifth spot in the Pirates' rotation, which will also include Ivan Nova, Jameson Taillon, Chad Kuhl and Trevor Williams.

Martin, who is now rated as Houston's 15th-best prospect according to MLB.com, was selected by the Astros in the eighth round of the 2013 draft.

Cole is coming off a career-worst ERA at 4.26 in 203 innings pitched, but he remains one of the hardest throwers in the game. The club will likely go with a full youth movement, rather than giving it one last try with the core that led this franchise back to the postseason.

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