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The market for free-agent pitcher Gerrit Cole is heating up before MLB’s winter meetings with organizations preparing their initial offers as three teams now emerge as the co-favorites to land him.

According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees and Los Angeles Angels are favorites to land the All-Star pitcher.

The Yankees have reportedly received ownership approval to offer Cole a record-breaking contract and the same almost certainly goes for both teams from Los Angeles.

The 29-year-old proved his worth throughout the 2019 season with the Houston Astros. Cole recorded a 2.50 ERA, 0.89 WHIP and struck out 326 batters across 212.1 innings. Even more impressive, he posted a 1.79 ERA, 0.74 WHIP and held opponents to a .160 batting average in 95.2 innings after the All-Star Break.

A record-breaking contract for Cole is only fitting too as he comes off a year with an MLB-record 39.9% strikeout rate and a 34% K-BB rate.

While we likely won’t see Cole signed during the winter meetings next week, it could provide further clarity on just how much money he’ll receive on his record-setting deal.

Matt Johnson
NFL, MLB & college football writer for Sportsnaut. Graduated from San Diego State University with BA in Journalism, 2019. Grew up in Sacramento, now based in Indianapolis. Seen on MSN. Previously: eDraft, The Connection, With the First Pick