More Aaron Nola suitors emerging
Starting pitcher Aaron Nola remains the Philadelphia Phillies' top offseason priority, as professed by president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski soon after their season ended. Even with a deep pitching free agent pool, Nola remains a top target for every team looking for pitching.
Good for Nola, bad for the Phillies, who couldn't get an extension done last winter.
One of the first teams to emerge as a destination for Nola was the Texas Rangers, as USA Today's Bob Nightengale suggested last week — an idea he heard directly from GMs.
"Bringing Jordan Montgomery back makes the most sense," Nightengale writes. "But certainly Nola and his durability is quite attractive to the Rangers’ rotation, with several GMs predicting Nola will end up in Texas."
The next teams to emerge as legitimate suitors were the St. Louis Cardinals, who had a horrendous time with starting pitching in 2023, and division rival Atlanta Braves, per Morosi.
The last thing Phillies fans will want to see is their beloved homegrown ace show up in a Braves uniform next season, but as The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal surmised a few days ago, Atlanta could be a good fit for Nola (subscription required).
"Of the pitchers available, righty Aaron Nola is perhaps the most intriguing fit," Rosenthal says. "Nola is close with Braves pitching coach Rick Kranitz, who was with the Philadelphia Phillies from 2016 to ‘18. And as a native of Baton Rouge, La., who attended LSU, he might prefer to sign with a team in the south."
Say it ain't so!
Rest assured, it's not a done deal by any means, as more suitors have come out of the woodwork, including the New York Yankees, as recently reported by Morosi.
Unfortunately for the Phillies, the more teams involved means an escalating bidding war. The Athletic's Jayson Stark says that he has heard that rival teams are convinced that the Phillies won't go all out in a bidding war (subscription required) for Nola.