Cole has a 59-42 record and career 3.50 ERA with the Pirates, and has recorded 734 strikeouts.More news: Trump slams 'sneaky' Feinstein over Russian Federation info release
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This trade is the latest in a series of aggressive, focused moves by the Astros. He didn't flinch under the pressure and posted a 2.45 ERA in those contests. However, the Pirates may not have been able to re-sign him when he eventually hit free agency, so they ensured they landed something in return for the ace.
Gerrit Cole is not a member of the Houston Astros, at least not yet, after reports of the pitcher being traded were refuted or walked back. It's less clear how badly the Pirates need outfield prospects given the presence of Austin Meadows, Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco.