The 2018 World Series title may have been decided on Jan. 13. That’s because the defending champion Houston Astros landed one of the most coveted pitchers in the game, Gerrit Cole, from the Pittsburgh Pirates in a blockbuster trade.
The Astros are deep enough to withstand losing the players they traded — third base prospect Colin Moran, starter Joe Musgrove, and reliever Michael Feliz. And Cole, the first overall pick in the 2011 draft out of UCLA, gives the team arguably the best starting rotation in the league, joining former AL MVP Justin Verlander, former Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel, and rising star Lance McCullers. It’s the second time the Yankees lost out on Cole, who they drafted in 2008 only to watch him go back to high school and had been negotiating with Pittsburgh all offseason. Now, New York may have to watch him celebrate a title somewhere else.