Gerrit Cole Free Agency Rumors: Angels, Not Dodgers, Viewed As Biggest Competition To Yankees
Houston Astros starting pitcher Gerrit Cole during a game against the Los Angeles Angels
Kelvin Kuo/USA TODAY Sports

With the annual Major League Baseball Winter Meetings underway in San Diego this week, all eyes are on Gerrit Cole as he is expected to sign the largest contract for a free-agent pitcher in history.

The main suitors for Cole seem to be the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Angels and L.A. Dodgers. Having already met with all three teams, offers are starting to be extended, which suggests a signing could come at any time in the near future.

The Yankees seem to be intent on landing the 29-year-old and reports indicate they already have a record-breaking offer on the table for him.

It would be uncharacteristic of Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman to get in a bidding war for Cole, and it doesn’t look like that will be the case. According to Andy Martino of SNY, the Angels pose the biggest competition for the right-hander:

This does not come as much of a surprise considering it was already reported the Dodgers are more interested in Anthony Rendon than Cole.

As it currently stands, the Dodgers have seven or eight capable starting pitchers and an infield that can consist of Max Muncy, Gavin Lux, Corey Seager and Justin Turner. Because of that, Friedman can remain patient and see how things play out this offseason before making any franchise-altering decisions.

While adding a pitcher of Cole’s caliber to a rotation that already includes Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw certainly is appealing, the Yankees and Angels both have more of a need for a frontline starting pitcher and may be more inclined to bid aggressively.

Cole is coming off a season in which he went 20-5 with a 2.50 ERA, 2.64 FIP and 0.90 WHIP in 33 starts for the Houston Astros. He led baseball with 326 strikeouts compared to just 48 walks in 212.1 innings.

The largest contract for a pitcher is David Price‘s seven-year, $217 million pact that he signed with the Boston Red Sox. Cole will likely shatter that deal, leaving the Dodgers to search for other options like Rendon, Josh Donaldson and Hyun-Jin Ryu to improve their club.

Stephen Strasburg was part of that group as well, but he and the Nationals agreed to a seven-year, $245 million deal.

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