Gerrit Cole wants to hear both sides of the L.A. story.
Cole, who grew up in the Los Angeles area and starred at UCLA, has long been linked with a return to his home state. During the playoffs, his Houston Astros teammate Josh Reddick said Cole would "definitely" sign with a team located "west of Nevada," though the man himself insisted he "never said that."
Stealing Cole away from the division-rival Astros would be a boon for the Angels, who fielded the league's worst starting rotation in 2019. Only one pitcher on the Halos (Trevor Cahill) surpassed the 100-inning mark last year, and their staff was the first since 1891 to not have one pitcher make at least 19 starts.
The Angels did make one move to address their weak staff on Wednesday, acquiring right-hander Dylan Bundy from the Orioles for four prospects. Bundy will join what's currently a six-man rotation that could easily be adjusted to make room for Cole if necessary.
Angels' projected 2020 rotation
*Ohtani did not pitch in 2019, statistics from 2018
As for the Dodgers, they're apparently thinking big after yet another disappointing postseason showing. Cole would boost an already lethal Dodgers staff and fill some potentially big holes if NL Cy Young finalist Hyun-Jin Ryu and veteran Rich Hill sign elsewhere.
Cole hit free agency after striking out a league-leading 326 batters (with a K/9 rate of 13.8) and posting an AL-best 2.50 ERA and 2.64 FIP for the AL champion Astros. He was the runner-up for the AL Cy Young behind teammate Justin Verlander.
The L.A. clubs face significant competition for Cole's services. The 29-year-old is also meeting with the New York Yankees, and the Texas Rangers are said to have been in touch with his camp. Astros owner Jim Crane previously indicated he'll try to re-sign Cole.
Last month, Cole's agent Scott Boras indicated that his client might not sign until the new year.