MLB Free Agency Rumors: Dodgers Made Contract Offer To Aaron Nola

The first major domino of MLB free agency fell over the weekend as Aaron Nola re-signed with the Philadelphia Phillies on a seven-year, $172 million contract.

Nola was among a handful of top-tier starting pitchers available to sign, along with Sonny Gray, Jordan Montgomery, Blake Snell and Yoshinobu Yamamoto. Although his upside was more limited compared to some of the other available pitchers, Nola’s value of eating innings at a quality level made him an intriguing target.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are among the many teams looking to add starting pitching this offseason and considered Nola among their options before he re-signed with the Phillies. According to Scott Lauber of The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Dodgers made a lucrative contract offer to Nola:

The deep-pocketed — and pitching-starving — Dodgers put a finger on the scale at $165 million, according to a source.

Nola had somewhat of a down 2023 season that saw him post a 4.46 ERA in 193.2 innings pitched. However, he still managed to finish with 202 strikeouts to go along with a 3.9 WAR while making 32 starts for a third consecutive season. The 30-year-old has a career 3.72 ERA and 3.38 FIP across 1,422 innings.

With Nola off the board, the Dodgers could turn their attention to Snell or Yamamoto, along with the trade options. In terms of potential trades, the Dodgers have been linked to Milwaukee Brewers ace Corbin Burnes, Dylan Cease of the Chicago White Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays’ Tyler Glasnow.

The team is also making a strong push to sign Shohei Ohtani, who should resume pitching in 2025 after undergoing elbow surgery.

Dodgers contract offers for starting pitchers

The Dodgers’ reported offer to Nola is another indication that they plan to spend big on starting pitching this offseason.

That would be a change in strategy as the team’s longest commitment to a free-agent starting pitcher under president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman has been Brandon McCarthy, who signed a four-year, $48 million contract before the 2015 season.

Trevor Bauer received the most lucrative deal, as the three-year contract he signed during the 2020-2021 offseason was worth $102 million.

Friedman recently noted that the Dodgers have made other big offers to free-agent starting pitchers in the past, but they simply chose to sign with other teams.

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