Gerrit Cole is a free agent this winter. He will not be returning to Houston based on the fact that he discarded his Astros gear like it was on fire as soon as the World Series ended. So which teams are most likely to give him a lot of money?
1. New York Yankees
Notice the first autofill result when you search Gerrit Cole on Google? That's just how the world works. If there is a good baseball player, people will assume he will eventually end up on the New York Yankees. The Yankees are in need of a marquee ace and Cole would fit the bill nicely. But will the Yankees break the bank for Cole? It's been a long time since the Yankees spent the most money in baseball by a wide margin.
2. Los Angeles Angels
They've got a perfectly good Mike Trout on their roster and finished 18-games below .500 in 2019. Trout is making $36 million this season and $35.45 million every year after that until well after California has broken off of the West Coast and floated into the ocean. They might want to spend a little more money on a good pitcher and try to make the playoffs for the first time since 2014. Not necessarily next season, but maybe sometime before Trout is a free agent again in 2031.
3. Los Angeles Dodgers
It has been years since the Dodgers had the highest payroll in baseball. Giving Garret Cole $30-something million would put them back in the conversation. They won 106 games during the 2019 season and had the best team ERA in the MLB. And then they lost to the Washington Nationals in the NLDS. Obviously, Cole is what they need.
4. Texas Rangers
The Rangers did not have great pitching this season. They finished six-games under .500. They could use an ace and they apparently have $30 million to spend next season. If they're willing to do that for a decade or so, Cole could be theirs. This is the franchise that gave Alex Rodriguez a 10-year deal worth more than a quarter of a billion dollars so why not?
5. Philadelphia Phillies
The Phillies proved they have YOLO money last winter by giving Bryce Harper a 13-year, $330 million contract. Their projected salary next season is $50 million behind the Red Sox. They finished in fourth place in the NL East this season and had the 14th most quality starts in all of baseball. If they want to win, offering Cole a ton of money makes sense.
Here are the betting odds.