Gerrit Cole returning to the Houston Astros always seemed like an unlikely scenario, and now it seems like a near-certainty he won’t be back.

After A.J. Hinch’s inexplicable decision to not use the star righty in Houston’s 6-2 loss to the Washington Nationals in Game 7 of the World Series, Cole was asked to speak to the media.

First, there was this.

Once he did speak, he had this fairly notable quote.

“Obviously l learned a lot about pitching from my teammates,” Cole said, via the New York Post. “From the pitching coaches and pitching staff. I learned a lot more about the game from A.J.. And it was just a pleasure to play in the city of Houston.”

That’s right, it was a pleasure to play in Houston. Cole even did his interview in a hat that read “Boras Corporation,” the agency that represents him.

So, yeah. Not much clearer of a sign that he’s on his way out. And the bidding for his services soon will begin.

Thumbnail photo via Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports Images