Now that the Gerrit Cole trade from the Pittsburgh Pirates to the Houston Astros finally happened, my initial reaction: Great job, Jeff Luhnow. The Astros dealt from their deep reservoir of talent to acquire a starting pitcher with All-Star upside without giving up any players who project as major contributors to the 2018 team.
That doesn’t necessarily mean this will end up as a huge win, nor does it mean that the Pittsburgh Pirates didn’t get enough in return. For those — especially Pirates fans — who are disappointed in the return, receiving either Forrest Whitley or Kyle Tucker as the centerpiece of the trade was never going to happen. Those are arguably two of the top 10 or 15 prospects in the game and the Astros weren’t to give up one of them for two years of Cole.
Plus, the Pirates did their due diligence. This was what they viewed to be the best offer as they received three players who will have major league careers in Joe Musgrove, Colin Moran and Michael Feliz, plus prospect Jason Martin. Maybe it feels a little light, but the Pirates went with depth and certainty over risky potential, and it seems pretty obvious that nobody really viewed Cole as an ace.