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Gerrit Cole’s message to Astros fans as he heads into free agency after World Series loss

Gerrit Cole, Astros

Houston Astros ace Gerrit Cole issued a thank you to the fans after the Astros were defeated by the Washington Nationals in Game 7 of the World Series on Wednesday night:

Cole will be a free agent this winter, and all signs point to him receiving one of the most lucrative deals ever for a pitcher, if not the largest contract in history.

The 29-year-old already stirred quite a bit of buzz after an interesting interaction with an Astros media relations official following the loss on Wednesday night, via Ken Davidoff of the New York Post:

“I’m not employed by the team,” declared the right-hander, who then relented, “I guess as a representative of myself …” and placed himself in front of a group of reporters.

Naturally, this set the internet alight. Cole has already been rumored to prefer signing with a team based on the West Coast (something that his own teammates have hinted at), and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic has suggested that the Los Angeles Angels may be the frontrunner to acquire his services.

Regardless, Cole is sure to attract a number of suitors. Teams like the Angels, Padres, Yankees, Phillies and Cubs could all look to offer him a contract this winter. Of course, the Astros could stay in the mix as well.

Cole posted one of the most dominant seasons for any pitcher in history. He went 20-5 with a 2.50 ERA (best in the American League) while leading the majors in strikeouts (326) and ERA+ (185). He also excelled during the 2019 postseason, including a win in Game 5 of the World Series where he scattered three hits and nine strikeouts across seven innings of work.

The Astros helped to revitalize his career, but Gerrit Cole could be headed for greener pastures.