With spring training underway, the Philadelphia Phillies have lots of cause for optimism. Sure, the National League East will be a bloodbath yet again in 2023 — with the Braves and Mets looking strong — but the Phillies outlasted both teams in the postseason and added Trea Turner this offseason.
One key Phillies piece is ace Aaron Nola — and his team control is rapidly running out. However, it sounds like he wants to stay in Philly for a long time, as he and the team are in active talks on a contract extension. No word yet on potential financial terms, but there is a lot of optimism that the two sides could come to an agreement this spring.
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Elsewhere in the world of the Phillies (well, sort of), it was announced that Scott Rolen would indeed be enshrined in Cooperstown wearing a St. Louis Cardinals cap. This isn't surprising given how Rolen's time in Philadelphia ended, but it still stings a little bit, nonetheless.
San Diego remains a fascinating story, as Manny Machado made his plans to opt out of his contract with the San Diego Padres after the 2023 season firmly known. San Diego would like to lock him down for the long term, but at least testing free agency could make him a lot of guaranteed money if this past offseason was any indication.
Over in Astros camp, Lance McCullers Jr. is experiencing some soreness in his pitching arm after a bullpen session earlier in the week. While the Astros are not currently concerned given McCullers’ injury history, this is worth keeping an eye on, especially if Houston has strong desires to repeat as World Series champions.
Finally, the Oakland Athletics are looking into a site in Las Vegas that could serve as their MLB home, should the team relocate. Multiple reports have stated that A’s ownership is focusing on a potential move to Vegas, and the stadium site in question is where the Rio Hotel stands. It sure seems like there is a lot of momentum for the A's to relocate, as opposed to trying to figure out a solution to staying in Oakland.