With a newly started MLB free agent season upon us, the World Series already seems like a distant memory. The possibilities seem endless as qualifying offers are sent out, or not sent out, and players hit the open market.
The Philadelphia Phillies' big free agent and one of the top starting pitchers of this free agent class, Aaron Nola, is generating plenty of buzz. With an abundance of rumors and speculation about which teams will be courting him and where he'll land, Jim Bowden of The Athletic offers his prediction (subscription required) for the right-hander's eventual new team.
While Scott Lauber of The Philadelphia Inquirer (subscription required) thinks the Atlanta Braves, St. Louis Cardinals, and Boston Red Sox are all top suitors for Nola's services, Bowden predicts that the Phillies homegrown talent will end up on the West Coast.
Will Nola sign with the Los Angeles Dodgers?
The Los Angeles Dodgers are in the market for starting pitching reinforcements after the gradual demise of their rotation over the course of the 2023 season, which was made apparent in their unceremonious ouster from the playoffs at the hands of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Bowden thinks Nola will end up being scooped up by the Dodgers, but only after they fail to land the biggest fish in the pond, Shohei Ohtani. He predicts the NL West champions will come calling on Nola and sign the 30-year-old only 24 hours after missing out on Ohtani.
"Aaron Nola signs a five-year, $125 million deal with the Dodgers about 24 hours after they learn that they’ve lost out on Ohtani," Bowden predicts.
Five years? $125 million? That's it?
Based on previous reports of Nola and the Phillies being far apart on their contract negotiations, with Nola asking for much more, up over the $200 million mark and eight years, this contract seems like one that the Phillies would be more than willing to offer up to their start pitcher.
If this is the contract Nola signs and it's not in Philadelphia, there will be some serious questions asked about how serious he was saying he wanted to stay in Philly and how serious the Phillies were in wanting to bring him back.
But only time will tell.