Astros To Acquire Gerrit Cole

5:33pm: Pittsburgh will receive four players in return, though Musgrove and Moran are likely the main pieces, Jon Heyman of FanRag tweets.

5:20pm: The Astros will acquire right-hander Gerrit Cole from the Pirates for righty Joe Musgrove and third baseman Colin Moran, Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports reports (Twitter link).

Houston and Pittsburgh nearly reached an agreement on a Cole trade earlier this week, but reports of a done deal proved premature. The two sides continued to negotiate, however, and have now come together on one of the most noteworthy trades of the offseason. Cole is the second potential front-end starter the Astros have acquired since last August, when they landed longtime Tigers ace Justin Verlander, who ultimately helped pitch them to their first-ever World Series title a couple months later.

With Verlander, Dallas Keuchel, Charlie Morton, Lance McCullers and Collin McHugh among their starters on hand, the Astros didn’t exactly have a desperate need for Cole heading into next season. But adding Cole should nonetheless increase their chances to finish atop the major league mountain again in 2018, and with two years of team control remaining, he figures to help their cause again in 2019. Neither Keuchel nor Morton is under contract through that season.

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