Report: Gerrit Cole trade to the Houston Astros is ‘imminent’

By Vincent Frank
Jun 10, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) delivers a pitch against the St. Louis Cardinals during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The defending World Series champion Houston Astros have clearly stated this winter that they’re looking for a front-line starting pitcher. Now, according to multiple reports, the Astros are on the verge of landing Pittsburgh Pirates aceĀ Gerrit Cole.

This would be an major get for an Astros team that already boasts former Cy Young winners Justin Verlander and Dallas Keuchel atop its rotation.

Cole, 27, pitched to a 12-12 record with a 4.26 ERA and 1.25 WHIP in 33 starts last season. It was by far the worst performance of his career. The former All-Star’s best season came back in 2015 when he posted a 19-8 record with a 2.60 ERA en route to finishing in the top five in Cy Young voting.

There’s no word yet on who might be headed Pittsburgh’s way. But this is a clear suggestion that the Pirates are in rebuild mode.