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Phillies Rumors: Nola, Yamamoto, Snell, Hader

Phillies Rumors: Nola, Yamamoto, Snell, Hader

Aaron Nola unsurprisingly rejected the Phillies’ one-year qualifying offer this week and is now squarely on the open market in search of a long-term contract. The Phils haven’t been shy about their hope to bring him back, with president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski saying in an appearance on MLB Network’s Hot Stove last week that the team “loves” Nola and remains hopeful of working out a new contract (video link to the full nine-minute interview).

“We were not able to get him signed in spring training, which was unfortunate for us, but we understood his scenario,” Dombrowski said. “Now he’s in a spot where he has the ability to talk to 29 other clubs, so it doesn’t get any easier. But I do think there’s mutual interest in both parties trying to get something done. Hopefully for us we can get it done, because we absolutely love Aaron and what he does for the organization, not only as a person but on the field.”

More recently, The Athletic’s Jayson Stark took a look at the Phillies’ offseason decisions, writing this morning that other clubs don’t get the impression that the Phillies are willing to “go all out” to win a bidding war to retain Nola’s services. Some of that stems from the reportedly sizable gap the two parties faced in spring training. Some clubs feel the demand in Nola is substantial enough to push him to a seven-year contract, per Stark.

The Phillies ostensibly weren’t willing to go to that length (at least not at a premium annual value) back in spring, so at least logically speaking, there’s reason to doubt whether they’d be willing to do that now that Nola has pitched to a second pedestrian ERA in three seasons — albeit with still-pristine strikeout and walk rates and a big showing in the postseason.

Dombrowski was rather clear last week in asserting that the Phillies are only looking to add one starter. He stated in that MLBN appearance that if the Phils are able to re-sign Nola, their rotation will be “set.” The veteran baseball ops leader pointed to Zack Wheeler, Ranger Suarez and Taijuan Walker as locks for the rotation, adding that his club very much likes lefty Cristopher Sanchez — understandably so. The 26-year-old southpaw logged a 3.44 ERA in 99 1/3 innings, striking out 24.2% of his opponents against a brilliant 4% walk rate. Sanchez kept the ball on the ground at a terrific 57% clip as well.

While Nola may be the Phillies’ preference, bidding is expected to be…

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