This season didn't end the way that Gerrit Cole wanted it to, but the 29-year-old ace is still on the verge of breaking the bank in free agency.
Last night, the Houston Astros fell short in Game 7 of the World Series to the Washington Nationals. Many fans were wondering why A.J. Hinch didn't use Cole in the final game of the year.
Cole had an incredible season for the Astros as he finished with a 20-5 record and 2.50 ERA. It's fair to say the team wouldn't have made the World Series without his contributions.
Unfortunately for Houston though, it's possible that Cole played his last game ever for the franchise. After all, he didn't exactly want to stay for his postgame media session.
Since the All-Star pitcher is the biggest name on the market this offseason, the likelihood is that almost every team in the MLB will show interest.
Here are our three favorites for Cole this free agency:
1. Los Angeles Angels
Not only are the Angels our favorite to sign Cole, the majority of Vegas odds have them listed as the top destination. Now that Joe Maddon is at the helm, it makes sense to go sign the top pitcher on the market.
Cole is from California and played college baseball at UCLA. This would be a nice homecoming for the dominant right-hander, while also giving him a chance to remain in the AL West.
2. Los Angeles Dodgers
Over the past three years, there hasn't been a team in the MLB that has experienced more heartbreak than the Dodgers. They've been knocking on the door, but the National League powerhouse hasn't managed to seal the deal.
If the Dodgers are committed to bringing a championship back to the city of Los Angeles, then signing Cole would be quite the statement. Clayton Kershaw is no longer the superstar he once was for the franchise, but a potential duo of Cole and Walker Buehler should be enough to get them over the hump in the National League.
3. New York Yankees
The days of the Yankees spending an absurd amount of money in free agency are over. However, the front office has kept a close eye on Cole since his high school career at Orange Lutheran High School.
New York took Cole in the first round of the 2008 MLB Draft, but he decided to go to UCLA instead of going pro. Fast forward a few years later, the team squandered its chance to acquire him in a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Maybe the third time is the charm for the Yankees.