With the Los Angeles Dodgers on an east coast road trip, their AL counterparts, the New York Yankees, are on the west coast and finishing up their slate of games in Anaheim against the Angels.
Somehow, the topic of Gerrit Cole’s free agency back after the 2019 season came up. As everyone remembers clearly, he signed a record-setting nine-year, $324 million contract with the Yanks and spurned a reported $300 million offer (with deferred money) from the Dodgers.
Turns out, the Dodgers never really held a leading spot in the free agent race. If Cole was going to return home to California, it likely would’ve been with the Angels, as his parents, per this NJ.com story from Randy Miller, live 15 minutes away from their park.
Or … maybe if the San Francisco Giants were interested, that could’ve swayed the right-hander. Why? Well, his wife, Amy, is the sister of Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford. Having grown up in the Bay Area, she rightfully has a distaste for the Dodgers.
Either way, it set the table for Cole choosing between the Angels, who were the more “sensible” hometown option, or the Yankees, his favorite team growing up and the only one he was going to make a geographic exception for.
The Dodgers were never really a free agent destination for Gerrit Cole
"“Amy growing up a die-hard Giants fan, her first sentence was, ‘Boo Dodgers!’,” Cole told NJ.com. “I don’t know if that’s true or not, but it’s a running joke in the family. But signing with the Dodgers wouldn’t have been the most appetizing thing. It’s a tense rivalry all the time between the two clubs, the Dodgers and Giants.”"
Though Dodgers fans now have an even easier reason to dislike Cole’s FA preferences after he spurned the best team in baseball, it’s hard to tell who got the last laugh there.
Despite LA dominating MLB right now, they made the costly mistake of signing Trevor Bauer the next year in free agency, which was a disaster. Additionally, Cole got the most money he possibly could. On the flip side, the Dodgers, statistically, have FOUR better starters than Cole for a fraction of the cost while the right-hander gets eviscerated in New York 25% of the time he takes the mound.
Even funnier is the fact the Dodgers have taken both Andrew Heaney and Joey Gallo from the Yanks and have somehow gotten far more production out of both of them than New York could ever dream of.
In the end, it seems like both parties are doing just fine. But now the Dodgers and their fans have good ammo for motivation in the event they come across Cole this October. His allegiance to the Giants won’t be forgotten.