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RUMOR: St. Louis Cardinals could be a ‘dark horse’ destination for Gerrit Cole

Gerrit Cole, Cardinals

When it comes to free-agent hurler Gerrit Cole, the Los Angeles Angels and New York Yankees are generally considered the two most likely destinations, but it might not be so cut and dry.

Michael Shapiro of Sports Illustrated has written a piece detailing the potential landing spots for Cole this offseason, and among his dark horse suitors is the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Cardinals just won the National League Central and made it all the way to the NLCS before falling to the Washington Nationals this past season, so they are certainly a legitimate contender and are only a couple of pieces away.

While St. Louis definitely needs some offense, adding a frontline starter like Cole never hurts, as he would join an impressive young pitching staff that already includes Jack Flaherty and Dakota Hudson.

Of course, the Redbirds are listed as a “dark horse” for a reason, as there has not been any indication that Cole, who grew up in Southern California (hello, Angels) rooting for the Yankees (hello, New York), would be interested in taking his talents to St. Louis.

The 29-year-old is coming off of a spectacular 2019 campaign in which he went 20-5 with a 2.50 ERA, allowing just 142 hits while racking up 326 strikeouts over 212.1 innings of work with the Houston Astros.

Cole has spent the last two seasons with the Astros but began his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates, where he resided for five years before being dealt to Houston ahead of the 2018 campaign.

Over the course of his seven-year big-league career, Cole has pitched to the tune of a 3.22 ERA and has averaged 10.1 strikeouts per nine innings.