Photo: Matthew Stockman, Getty Images
The Houston Astros already had two Cy Young winners. They’re hoping Gerrit Cole can make it three.
The World Series champs boosted their rotation with another big arm, acquiring Cole from the Pittsburgh Pirates in a five-player trade Saturday. The Pirates got right-handers Joe Musgrove and Michael Feliz, third baseman Colin Moran and outfielder Jason Martin for their 27-year-old ace.
Cole went 12-12 with a 4.26 ERA last season, by far the worst ERA of his five-year career. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 draft was an All-Star in 2015 but hasn’t replicated those results the past two seasons. Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow thinks pitching coach Brent Strom can help Cole recapture that form.
“We expect him to bounce back and be a Cy Young contender,” Luhnow said.
In 2017, Cole tied for the NL lead with 33 starts, was third in innings (203) and 10th in strikeouts (196). He is 59-42 with a 3.50 ERA in five seasons, including 19-8 in 2015.
On Friday, Cole and the Pirates reached agreement on a one-year contract worth $6.75 million. He had one year of arbitration remaining and was likely to command a huge raise in 2019, one of the reasons the Pirates had considered trading him.
Musgrove could take over Cole’s spot in the rotation. The 25-year-old has made 25 starts and 49 appearances with Houston over the past two seasons. He’s 11-12 with a 4.77 ERA in that time, but finished out 2017 by posting a 1.44 ERA over 311/3 innings of relief.
•All-Star closer Brad Hand and the San Diego Padres agreed to a three-year contract extension reportedly worth $19.75 million, pending the left-hander passing a physical. Hand went 3-4 with 21 saves and a 2.16 ERA last season.
•The Mets and former Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez have agreed to a deal, pending a physical, USA Today reported. Gonzalez, 35 and a five-time All-Star, was released by the Braves after being traded from the Dodgers.
Winter sports: Snowboarder Shaun White made the U.S. Olympic team in grand fashion — scoring a perfect 100 at the U.S. Grand Prix in Snowmass, Colo., to set himself up as a favorite for a third gold medal. White’s winning run included two of the toughest tricks on the halfpipe — the Double McTwist 1260 and the frontside double cork 1440. Ben Ferguson finished fifth to secure his spot; he’ll join White and Jake Pates in the Olympics.
•Lauren Gibbs and Aja Evans were picked as the push athletes who will join pilots Elana Meyers Taylor and Jamie Greubel Poser on the U.S. Olympic women’s bobsled team. Gibbs will be in Meyers Taylor’s sled. Evans will push for Greubel Poser, a combination that earned the U.S. a bronze medal at the Sochi Games four years ago.
•In skiing, Federica Brignone won the penultimate women’s World Cup super-G before the Olympics, while American Lindsey Vonn finished ninth, a day after she considered skipping the race to avoid the risk of injury on the weakened course at Bad Kleinkirchhheim, Austria. On the men’s side, Beat Feuz won the downhill in Wengen, Switzerland.
Soccer: Harry Kane overtook Teddy Sheringham as Tottenham’s all-time scorer in the English Premier League era (since 1992) by scoring twice in the second half of a 4-0 win over Everton. The England striker has 98 goals, one more than Sheringham, and has 20 goals in the league for the fourth consecutive year.