Former UNC third baseman Colin Moran was traded from the Houston Astros to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday evening, as part of a four-player package for starting pitcher Gerrit Cole–which could turn into more by the time the deal is officially finalized.
Tim Brown–a baseball writer at Yahoo! Sports–was the first to report the news, with The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal later reporting that the Astros sent right-handed pitcher Michael Feliz to Pittsburgh alongside Moran and reliever Joe Musgrove.
Outfielder Jason Martin is also a part of the package.
Moran, however, is the centerpiece of the trade from Houston’s side–as he finished last season ranked as the organization’s No. 5 overall prospect.
Drafted sixth overall out of UNC back in 2013, Moran has spent the majority of his five professional seasons in the minor leagues, where he’s compiled a .290 batting average with 48 home runs and 279 RBIs.
He played in nine games for the Astros in 2016–and seven more last season–before suffering a freak injury when he fouled a ball off of his own face. This forced him onto the disabled list, and ultimately back into the minor leagues.
With 2015 No. 2 overall draft pick Alex Bregman representing the future at third base for the defending world champions, this trade should provide Moran a chance to blossom into a full-time major league player.
The Astros, meanwhile, receive a solid starting pitcher who was once the No. 1 overall draft pick back in 2011. Cole has a career record of 59-42 with a 3.50 ERA in five major league seasons, and should immediately provide depth to an already-strong Houston rotation.
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