Pirates trade pitcher Gerrit Cole to Astros

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According to multiple reports, the Pirates have reached an agreement to deal ace Gerrit Cole to the world champion Astros.

Jon Morosi of MLB Network reported the deal shortly after first noting a trade was a "imminent".

The Yankees engaged the Pirates last month about Cole, but they were unwilling to surrender top prospects Gleyber Torres and Estevan Florial in the deal, instead discussing Clint Frazier, Miguel Andujar and Chance Adams.

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Although Cole is coming off a mediocre season, the Yankees likely believed they could transform him into a strong starter by having the 27-year-old rely less on his fastball and more on his off-speed pitches.

The Pirates drafted Cole in 2011, using their first overall selection to do so. His best season came in 2015 when he went 19-8 with a 2.60 ERA and 202 strikeouts in 32 starts. He struck out 103 while allowing only two home runs in 90 innings against the Cubs.

The Astros would hope that Cole bounces back to his form from 2013-2016 when he had a 3.23 ERA over 579 1/3 innings of work. He is scheduled to become a free agent after the 2019 season.

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