Astros know Gerrit Cole wants to be 'West Coast guy' in MLB free agency

Dalton Johnson

The Astros are trying to soak in every start Gerrit Cole makes for them. As Houston sits two wins from reaching the World Series, they know their staff ace likely will be pitching for a different team next season. 

Cole is expected to possibly sign a record-breaking contract as a free agent this upcoming offseason. His teammates have an idea of which part of the country he will be packing his bags for, too. 

"We know he wants to be a West Coast guy," Astros outfielder Josh Reddick told Bleacher Report's Scott Miller. 

Cole, 29, grew up in Southern California and attended UCLA before the Pirates took him with the No. 1 pick in the 2011 MLB Draft. Could his future be in Northern California, though? 

Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford and Cole are brothers-in-law. ESPN's Jeff Passan also listed San Francisco in late August as one of nine destinations that are "positioned and motivated to explore adding Cole."

The three-time All-Star also told Miller that he has been to six or seven Giants postseason games in the past, including taking his grandfather to two World Series games in 2012.

Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi has some big decisions to make regarding the roster this offseason. Longtime ace Madison Bumgarner will be a free agent, but Cole certainly would be an upgrade. The right-hander is a front-runner to win the AL Cy Young award this year after going 20-5 with a 2.50 ERA and 326 strikeouts over 212 1/3 innings. 

But Cole could be in line to sign a contract worth well over $200 million this winter. 

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The Giants rode star pitchers like Bumgarner, Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain to three championships this decade. Adding Cole to start off the next decade could be the perfect addition. A healthy Johnny Cueto is returning to San Francisco's rotation next season, along with Jeff Samardzija -- whose 3.52 ERA this year was his lowest since 2014. 

San Francisco will have plenty of competition if they do pursue Cole, especially from Southern California teams in the Angels and Dodgers. He certainly will be sought after from the Bay Area to Los Angeles and beyond.

Astros know Gerrit Cole wants to be 'West Coast guy' in MLB free agency originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area