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Astros acquire Gerrit Cole from Pirates

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The Pirates dealt right-hander Gerrit Cole to the Astros on Saturday, per announcements from both teams. They’ll receive Astros relievers Joe Musgrove and Michael Feliz, infielder Colin Moran and outfielder Jason Martin in the deal.

Cole has been the source of considerable speculation this offseason as one of the few top-tier pitchers left on the trading block. A trade to the Astros was initially reported last Tuesday, but was later deemed a ‘false rumor’ by Yahoo’s Jeff Passan. The 27-year-old is coming off of a solid run with the Pirates in 2017, during which he went 12-12 in 33 starts with a 4.26 ERA, 2.4 BB/9 and 8.7 SO/9 in 203 innings.

With the trade, the Astros are now set to enter the 2018 season with a fearsome rotation of Cole, Justin Verlander, Dallas Keuchel, Charlie Morton and Lance McCullers. The Pirates, meanwhile, will add to their stock of right-handed relievers with Michael Feliz and Joe Musgrove, the latter of whom earned 1.1 fWAR with a 4.77 ERA in 2017. They’ll also find a corner infield option in no. 5 prospect Colin Moran, who managed a .364/.417/.818 batting line in his sophomore tryout in the majors last year. The least polished of the group, outfield prospect Jason Martin made the jump to Double-A Corpus Christi in 2017 and ranked no. 15 in the Astros’ system as a speedy fourth outfielder who can hit for average.

Diamondbacks sign Kris Medlen and Antonio Bastardo to minor-league deals

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Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Arizona Diamondbacks have signed pitchers Kris Medlen and Antonio Bastardo to minor-league deals. Medlen will make $1.1 million if he breaks camp with the Snakes. Bastardo will earn at $1.5 million if he makes the team.

Medlen hasn’t pitched in the bigs since 2016 and hasn’t pitched effectively in the bigs since 2013 due to multiple Tommy John surgeries and, more recently, shoulder ailments. Last year he put up a 4.95 ERA in 20 games in the Braves’ minor league system. If he’s healthy he could be a depth guy for the Dbacks in the event one of their big league starters go down.

Bastardo pitched in nine games, ineffectively, for the Pirates before being released last season. He didn’t catch on anywhere else after that so, hey, I guess he’s fresh?