Rumor: Gerrit Cole interested in joining California team
At the end of October, Buster Olney reported, “some Astros teammates believe that [Gerrit] Cole will sign with a team in California, and there is an industry expectation that Cole will land with the Angels, who play in a stadium less than 10 miles from where he played in high school.”
The idea of Cole signing close to where he grew up was something Angels fans had been considering for a while in hopes that it could lead the three-time All-Star pitcher to sign in Anaheim.
There is nothing the Angels need more than starting pitching. Last season, their starters ranked 29th, next to last, in team ERA. Halos starters have ranked near the bottom of the league in ERA for every season since 2014.
Cole would have given Joe Maddon a legitimate number one starter to pair with a healthy Shohei Ohtani. After dealing with some injuries early in his career, the right-hander has started at least 30 games over the past three seasons. He was an amazing 20-5 last year with a league-best 2.50 ERA and eye-popping 326 strikeouts.
He ended up signing a nine-year, $324 million deal with the big, bad Yankees, with agent Scott Boras revealing that he gave the Angels serious consideration before choosing to chase a World Series in New York. Cole will turn 30 this September, so the back-end of that contract could look ugly, at which point, we might be writing about why we are glad the Angels didn’t sign him. But for a team desperate for starting pitching and looking to compete before Mike Trout becomes an old man, this is one rumor Angels fans have to wish came true.