Gerrit Cole reportedly not traded to Astros: 'False rumor'

Gerrit Cole reportedly not traded to Astros: 'False rumor'

Gerrit Cole reportedly not traded to Astros: 'False rumor'

The World Series champion Houston Astros are engaged in trade talks with the Pittsburgh Pirates for ace Gerrit Cole in hopes of repeating as World Series champions, but cautioned that no trade is imminent.

Despite Morosi's report, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reported that "multiple sources are cautioning" that a deal wasn't done yet.

In five years with the Pirates, Cole has a 59-42 record with a 3.50 ERA, averaging 156 innings a season in 127 starts.

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This trade is the latest in a series of aggressive, focused moves by the Astros. His home-run rate spiked dramatically to 1.4 per nine after allowing 0.6 per nine for the first four years of his career. He didn't flinch under the pressure and posted a 2.45 ERA in those contests.

Though Cole is coming off his worst season - 12-12 with a 4.26 ERA in 33 starts - he is capable of being an elite starter. Keuchel, of course, becomes a free agent after the 2018 season, so Cole's presence will help cushion the blow of him leaving after the season, assuming he leaves. It's less clear how badly the Pirates need outfield prospects given the presence of Austin Meadows, Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco.

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