Cole fire: Astros heat up hot stove by acquiring Pirates ace


The Houston Astros already had two Cy Young winners on their staff. They’re hoping Gerrit Cole can make it three.

The World Series champions boosted their rotation with another big arm, acquiring Cole from the Pittsburgh Pirates in a five-player trade Saturday.

The Pirates got right-handers Joe Musgrove and Michael Feliz, third baseman Colin Moran and outfielder Jason Martin for their 27-year-old ace.

Cole will join All-Stars Dallas Keuchel and Justin Verlander on a team that just won its first crown. Houston breezed to the AL West title with 101 wins, and went on beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 7 of the World Series.

Cole went 12-12 with a 4.26 ERA last season, by far the worst ERA of his five-year career. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 draft was an All-Star in 2015 but hasn’t replicated those results the past two seasons. Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow thinks pitching coach Brent Strom can help Cole recapture that form.

“We expect him to bounce back and be a Cy Young contender,” Luhnow said.

The New York Yankees had been among the teams mentioned in trade talks involving Cole. There hadn’t been a lot of movement this winter on baseball’s hot stove, but…



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