Pirates ace Gerrit Cole traded to Astros

Gov. Greg Abbott and the 2017 World Series trophy at the state Capitol

The Astros have acquired the top-end starter team owner Jim Crane wanted.

If the Yankees really want Gerrit Cole, it may not be too late: The Astros GM said that a deal for the Pirates righthander isn't "imminent", despite previous reports saying one was almost done.

The prospects changing hands in the deal are still unknown, but outfielder Derek Fisher was one of the names being discussed initially.

Credit Ryan Poppe
Credit Ryan Poppe

The Pirates aren't realistic World Series contenders this year, so any return pieces will help restock the organization as it builds toward the future.

Cole, who is under team control for the 2018 and 2019 seasons, is in his second year of arbitration eligibility. Instead, he will join an Astros staff that already included Dallas Keuchel and Justin Verlander. He finished with a 2.60 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 202 strikeouts in 32 starts and 208 innings, all of which were career bests. As for the Pirates, a full rebuild could soon follow with stars Andrew McCutchen and Josh Harrison up next on the trade block.

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