The Astros have acquired the top-end starter team owner Jim Crane wanted.
Gerrit Cole is not a member of the Houston Astros, at least not yet, after reports of the pitcher being traded were refuted or walked back.
They also have been linked in trade talks with Arizona for Patrick Corbin, as well as free agent Yu Darvish, though it seems almost impossible for the Yankees to be able to sign Darvish and stick to their goal of staying under the $197 million luxury-tax threshold this season.
In five years with the Pirates, Cole has a 59-42 record with a 3.50 ERA, averaging 156 innings a season in 127 starts.
The teams have not announced the deal, and Cole has reportedly yet to be informed of the trade, so there is still a lot to get done.
Cole has pitched for the Pirates since 2013.
The Pirates drafted Cole in 2011, using their first overall selection to do so.
From Pittsburgh's perspective, losing someone of Cole's caliber is hard to swallow, especially as a smaller-market team that doesn't always attract marquee free agents. He was an all-star in 2015.