MLB Network reporter Jon Morosi said in a series of tweets that the clubs reached an agreement, and are working to beat Friday's trading deadline. Pittsburgh's return for the pitcher has yet to be revealed. This trade increases Cole's upside in the wins department, but the move to the American League may offset those potential gains.
The New York Post also reported the trade. Passan did note that "generally, this sort of thing winds up with a deal being consummated". He finished with a 2.60 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 202 strikeouts in 32 starts and 208 innings, all of which were career bests.
Though Cole is coming off his worst season - 12-12 with a 4.26 ERA in 33 starts - he is capable of being an elite starter.
Passan reports that Houston is dangling outfielder Derek Fisherin the talks, although he says the Pirates would want more, which makes sense. But this is a clear suggestion that the Pirates are in rebuild mode.
The Astros won the 2017 World Series in seven games over the Los Angeles Dodgers and boasted one of the best rotations in baseball.