Starting pitcher Gerrit Cole will enter free agency this offseason following two years with the Houston Astros, whose 2019 campaign ended Wednesday with a 6-2 loss to the Washington Nationals in Game 7 of the World Series.
After the game, Cole spoke with reporters but noted that he was "technically" unemployed, per TV sports broadcaster Hazel Mae:
Hunter Atkins of the Houston Chronicle then relayed that Cole said he was speaking "as a representative of myself..."
The 29-year-old Cole went 20-5 with a league-leading 326 strikeouts and a 2.50 ERA last season. He made the All-Star Game during both of his seasons with Houston following five years as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Per Andy Martino if SNY.tv, "it's also long been the assumption in the industry that Cole, a California native, will favor a West Coast team."
Of the group, Sherman favored the Angels.
"The ideal fit," the Post reporter wrote. "They crave pitching, in general, and great pitching, specifically, and they already have wasted too much of Mike Trout’s prime failing to procure it. Cole grew up nearby, attended Angels games regularly and seems inclined to try to get back toward home."
Sherman also noted that Cole's contract would surpass Boston Red Sox southpaw David Price's $217 million and beat Justin Verlander's $33 million annual salary.
That would seemingly knock the Astros out of contention, whose payroll is already past $200 million for the 2020 season, per Spotrac:
Gerrit Cole’s magical season on the cusp of free agency will lead to a monumental payday, but it’s going to be difficult for Houston to write that check. The #Astros already have a projected $207.4M allocated to their 2020 tax payroll, with a threshold of $208M. https://t.co/ZGLrXBlLzT
Regardless of where Cole goes, his future team is getting a bona fide ace who was arguably the best pitcher in baseball over the past two years.