Multiple reports surfaced Wednesday that a deal between Houston and Pittsburgh for Cole was imminent - if not complete - only to later be shot down by Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow to the Houston Chronicle.
According to Jon Morosi, the trade is imminent and has been gaining momentum since yesterday.
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The New York Post also reported the trade. It wasn't immediately clear what Pittsburgh will receive in return. Passan did note that "generally, this sort of thing winds up with a deal being consummated". This is not a one-year rental, and Houston landed a proven arm who is just 27 years old. His best season came in 2015 when he went 19-8 with a 2.60 ERA, 1.091 WHIP and 202 strikeouts in 32 starts. He struck out 103 while allowing only two home runs in 90 innings against the Cubs. Cole is coming off a rough season in which he surrendered a career-high 31 homers.
With oft-dominant right-hander Lance McCullers Jr. backed by Charlie Morton, Brad Peacock and others, the Astros would have enviable starting pitcher depth - and significant insurance against any year-after effects from winning a World Series.