While the Astros have their focus fixed on the 2019 World Series, one star player's future with the team is far from a sure thing.
Gerrit Cole is expected to be the single most sought after player in free agency this winter, and some have projected the Cy Young candidate to be handed a record-setting deal.
Amid all the speculation regarding Cole's future as an Astro, some of his teammates anticipate the 29-year-old will move back to his home state of California, while others within baseball think he's most likely to join the Angels, per ESPN's Buster Olney.
The Angels are a likely fit considering their ballpark, Angel Stadium, is located just 10 miles from Cole's hometown of Newport Beach, California. The team is also expected to be big spenders in the offseason, with pitching being one of their most glaring needs.
Cole, who is currently earning $13.5 million in base salary for 2019, could be in line for a contract with an average annual value exceeding $30 million. Olney reports that the deal could exceed the seven-year, $217 million contract David Price signed with the Red Sox.
Cole will be linked to a handful of teams this offseason, and any organization looking to acquire an ace will certainly be keeping tabs on him.
It seems like the Angels are the frontrunners early on, and with Joe Maddon as the team's new skipper, bringing aboard Cole could be the next piece to the puzzle.