Pittsburgh traded the pitcher to the Astros on Saturday in return for a package centered around Joe Musgrove and Colin Moran, according to Yahoo Sports.
The Astros now have a rotation that rivals the Indians and Nationals for best in the game, lining up Verlander, Dallas Keuchel, Cole, Lance McCullers Jr. and Charlie Morton, with Brad Peacock and Collin McHugh in deep reserve. You also get a combined 21 years of team control with the four players, so even if you hit semi-big on one guy and moderately OK on two of the other three, the Pirates will have done OK. But adding Cole gives them the best rotation in baseball, putting them in a great position to repeat as World Series champions in 2018.
Martin was the Astros' 15th best prospect and has the tools to be a future major league outfielder.
Verlander and Keuchel were quite pleased with the move. He made seven relief appearances in the postseason and earned the win in Game 5 of the World Series after throwing one scoreless inning. Cole has a career record of 59-42 with a 3.50 ERA in five major league seasons, and should immediately provide depth to an already-strong Houston rotation.
The Astros, meanwhile, receive a solid starting pitcher who was once the No. 1 overall draft pick back in 2011.
The Pirates or Astros have yet to officially announce the trade, and there were reports of a trade for Cole that surfaced Wednesday, which turned out to be false. He finished this past season ranking tied for first in starts (33), third in innings pitched (203) and 10th in strikeouts. It was also the first season in which he was able to pitch 200+ innings, a feat he has accomplished twice in his career.
He has one year of arbitration eligibility remaining.
Cole has been the Pirates ace for the past several seasons. "We are very appreciative for what Gerrit has done for our team and organization, especially his important role on the 2013-15 playoff teams", Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said in a release. "We expect him to bounce back and be a Cy Young contender".