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Top Free Agent Destinations for Gerrit Cole

HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 30:  Gerrit Cole #45 of the Houston Astros walks to the bullpen during the fifth inning against the Washington Nationals in Game Seven of the 2019 World Series at Minute Maid Park on October 30, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Tim Warner/Getty Images

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

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 14: Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels looks on from the dugout during the first inning of the MLB game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 14, 2019 in Anaheim, California. The Rays defeated the Angels 3-1.  (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
Tampa Bay Rays v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

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

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 09: (EDITOR'S NOTE: Alternative crop) Joe Kelly #17 of the Los Angeles Dodgers walks in the dugout after being pulled as Clayton Kershaw #22 sits dejected on the bench in the tenth inning of game five of the National League Division Series against the Washington Nationals at Dodger Stadium on October 09, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Divisional Series - Washington Nationals v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game Five | Harry How/Getty Images

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

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - SEPTEMBER 26:  Rougned Odor #12 of the Texas Rangers celebrates a homerun in the seventh inning against the Boston Red Sox at Globe Life Park in Arlington on September 26, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Boston Red Sox v Texas Rangers | Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

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

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 29: Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies in action against the Miami Marlins during a game at Citizens Bank Park on September 29, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Miami Marlins v Philadelphia Phillies | Rich Schultz/Getty Images

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.