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Thursday, July 18, 2024
HomeBaseballParticulars On The Dodgers' And Braves' Pursuit Of Aaron Nola

Particulars On The Dodgers’ And Braves’ Pursuit Of Aaron Nola


Aaron Nola’s new deal with the Phillies is the winter’s greatest free agent headline so far, as Nola returned to Philadelphia for seven years and $172MM.  Experiences filtered in that the Braves additionally had vital curiosity in Nola, and that the right-hander turned down bigger presents with a purpose to stay along with his longtime crew, and the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Scott Lauber shed some mild on these different suitors in a bit from earlier this week.

The Dodgers had been one other main bidder, Lauber writes, with the precise phrasing that Los Angeles “put a finger on the dimensions at $165MM.”  It isn’t precisely clear from this wording whether or not or not the Dodgers maybe simply floated this determine or in the event that they made a proper provide to Nola’s representatives, but it’s honest to imagine the latter is true given the seemingly fast timeline of occasions, contemplating that the Phillies and Braves had been each bidding onerous and Nola wished to determine sooner fairly than later about his future.

As for different groups, Atlanta made a beginning provide of $162MM over six years, after which made a closing provide value presumably extra.  Past the Braves and Dodgers, the Phillies thought extra crew had been additionally concerned within the Nola sweepstakes, “with not less than one different membership providing extra” than Philadelphia’s $172MM.

Naturally it isn’t in any respect shocking that Nola drew such high-dollar curiosity, given his standing as one of many high free brokers obtainable on this offseason’s market.  MLBTR ranked Nola fifth on our record of the winter’s high 50 free brokers, and projected him for a six-year, $150MM contract.  He ended up getting extra total cash than our projection, if much less of a mean annual worth stretched out over a seventh 12 months of a contract, but the Phillies’ means to simply get near comparable presents from different groups was sufficient to seal the deal.  “Nola strongly most well-liked staying with the Phillies, and his agent Joe Longo let it’s recognized that $172 million would get it completed,” Lauber writes.

Braves president of baseball operations Alex Anthopoulos usually likes to make most of his larger strikes earlier within the offseason, and that development has continued.  The bullpen has been a serious early focus, as Reynaldo Lopez was simply signed to a three-year deal value not less than $30MM in assured cash, and Atlanta retained Joe Jimenez and Pierce Johnson earlier than free company formally opened.  The Braves had been additionally very aggressive in reducing down their record of arbitration-eligible gamers, with a collection of trades, releases, and non-tenders that in the end shaved a good chunk of cash off the payroll.

The precise measurement of that 2024 payroll and what Anthopoulos has to work with isn’t but recognized, resulting in fairly a little bit of hypothesis about what precisely the Braves are planning.  Clearly touchdown Nola would have taken up an enormous portion (if not all) of no matter payroll area Atlanta has left, and the Braves are already on tempo to high their team-record $203MM payroll from final 12 months.  The Braves are additionally set to surpass the luxurious tax threshold for the second consecutive 12 months, which provides one other attention-grabbing wrinkle — signing a qualifying offer-rejecting free agent like Nola would’ve value the Braves two draft picks and $1MM in worldwide bonus cash as compensation.

Beneath Anthopoulos, the Braves have often made measured strikes within the free agent market.  Most of Anthopoulos’ greatest strikes have been trades, along with his free agent signings often restricted to veterans on one-year or two-year offers (if at a excessive common annual worth).  Marcell Ozuna’s four-year, $65MM deal from the 2020-21 is much and away the most important contract Anthopoulos has given to a free agent, and Nola’s contact would’ve drastically exceeded Ozuna’s quantity.

Whereas the Dodgers aren’t any stranger to big-money offers, it’s value noting that Nola at a $165MM price ticket would’ve additionally represented the most important free agent contract of Andrew Friedman’s tenure working the L.A. entrance workplace.  Freddie Freeman’s six-year, $162MM pact from the 2021-22 offseason is the present benchmark, and the truth that Los Angeles was prepared to spend a lot on Nola is an early signal of how aggressive the crew plans to be this winter.

Signing the sturdy Nola would’ve been an enormous assist to a Dodgers rotation that’s missing in expertise, because the crew is predicted so as to add two or three pitchers to the group by way of free company and trades.  That is alongside the Dodgers’ different large pursuit of the winter, as Los Angeles is seen as one of many favorites — if maybe the favourite — to signal Shohei Ohtani to what’s going to nearly certainly be the most important assured contract in baseball historical past.  The Dodgers could also be approach below the luxurious tax threshold for now, however with Ohtani’s scenario, extreme pitching wants, and another roster holes to be addressed, L.A. doesn’t seem to have any reservations over surpassing the tax for the fourth straight 12 months.

One crew absent from Nola’s market was Boston, because the Purple Sox “weren’t meaningfully concerned in bidding,” based on Alex Speier of the Boston Globe.  This tracks with studies from mid-November suggesting that whereas the Sox had been fascinated with a top-tier beginning pitching addition, Jordan Montgomery and Yoshinobu Yamamoto had been the crew’s most well-liked choices forward of Nola and Blake Snell.

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