The Pittsburgh Pirates and the defending world series champion, Houston Astros, have swung a 5-player deal centered around Gerrit Cole. This trade was official on January 13th, 2018.
The baseball world is questioning the decision to pull the trigger on this deal due to the lack of acquiring any of the Astros top prospects in a deal for Pittsburgh’s ace. Many would have thought the Pirates would have got a guy like Kyle Tucker or Forest Whitley in this deal but that was not the case after all. Colin Moran is the most talented of the bunch and was the Astros #9 prospect in their farm system. It is worth noting that the Pirates had a deal in place to ship Cole off to the Bronx for a package that would have included either Clint Frazier or Chase Adams. The Yankees refused to include both players in the deal but, the Astros offered them more for Cole. Basically, the Pirates took quantity over quality in this particular transaction.
Here is how the newly acquired players stack up for their new team:
Colin Moran, 3B
This move immediately fills the Pirates void at third base by acquiring Moran. David Freese is very capable of manning the hot corner but, his production at the plate is extremely streaky. Moran has had some time in the majors with the Astros for their stretch run into the postseason. In 2 seasons in AAA he batted a .279 along with 28 home runs and 132 RBI’s. That is very solid production at that level of competition. His skills defensively are also not to shabby. Moran figures to have a shot to start the season with the Pirates and lock down the 3rd base position.
Joe Musgrove, RHP
Musgrove made his major league debut with Houston in 2016 and he has a lifetime ERA of 4.52. Although, he was very effective out of the bullpen in the Astros world series run in 2017, helping them gain a championship. Musgrove figures to be inserted back into the rotation in Pittsburgh and will work with the pitcher whisperer, Ray Searage.
Michael Feliz RHP, Jason Martin OF
Feliz has been with the Astros club since 2015 nd has posted a lifetime 5.13 ERA. He is a hard throwing right handed pitcher out of the bullpen and will most likely start the season in the Pirates bullpen. Jason Martin has a lifetime .269 BA in 5 seasons in the minor leagues. He has a little bit of pop in his bat as well as some nice speed, but he projects to be not much more than a 4th outfielder in his career.