While it may not live in infamy the way that the Chris Archer deal currently does, the Gerrit Cole trade isn't looking so hot, either.
Colin Moran, still defensively challenged and lacking top-shelf power, may soon be supplanted at third base by top prospect Ke'Bryan Hayes. Reliever Michael Feliz is still more arsonist than fireman. Outfielder Jason Martin is on the fourth outfielder track. And Joe Musgrove hasn't exactly built upon his promising first season with the Pirates.
Musgrove hasn't been terrible, mind you. But by most measures, he's either treading water or backsliding. While his strikeout rate has remained about the same between 2018 (20.6 percent of batters faced) and 2019 (20.5 percent), he's issuing more walks (4.7 percent in '18, 5.5 percent in '19) and -- more important -- he has become more homer prone. Last year, Musgrove surrendered just 0.94 homers per nine innings pitched. This year, he's serving up 1.3 blasts per nine. His Fielding Independent ERA -- a more accurate measure of performance based on strikeouts, walks and homers allowed -- has jumped from 3.59 last year to 4.24 in 2019.
Many of Musgrove's problems this year can be traced back to his fastball. Musgrove is ultra-aggressive with the pitch, but he's not showing the kind of power stuff needed to make that approach work.