Though Phillies righty Aaron Nola tells Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer that he hasn’t thought much about the potential of signing a long-term deal with the Phils, Gelb opines that Nola is a prime extension candidate for the team this winter. The 24-year-old’s recent arm troubles present some risk in approaching him about a long-term pact, but there’s inherent risk when extending any pitcher, and Nola has established himself as an above-average starter over his two-plus seasons of work, Gelb argues. With Nola still a year away from arbitration eligibility, the Phils could look to strike now in hopes of securing control over one or more free-agent years, as they did with center fielder Odubel Herrera in the 2016-17 offseason. Gelb’s piece includes a number of potential comparables as well as quotes from Nola and teammate Clay Buchholz, who signed a long-term deal himself at a similar point in his career.
More out of the NL East…
- FanRag’s Jon Heyman writes that one reason the Phillies might’ve made the surprising decision to remove Pete Mackanin as manager just months after giving him an extension was that the arrival of players like Rhys Hoskins, Nick Williams and other young talents may have somewhat accelerated the team’s timeline. Heyman writes that the Phils viewed Mackanin as “more of a caretaker” than a long-term solution, and they may now look for a skipper who’ll hold down the fort for years to come. Heyman notes that having a more concrete manager in place could be a selling point next winter when the team could pursue multiple top names in free agency.
- Heyman also reports that Braves chairman John Schuerholz and president of baseball ops John Hart are “said to be at odds” with one another, though Hart firmly denied the notion. “John and I are lifelong friends, and there is mutual baseball respect as well,” Hart tells Heyman. “Nobody totally agrees on every player, staff member, etc. That’s just baseball.” Heyman adds that Schuerholz “would love” to bring Royals GM Dayton Moore on board to run the team’s baseball ops department and groom Schuerholz’s son, Jonathan. The younger Schuerholz is currently the team’s assistant director of player development. USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweeted yesterday that Moore is “more open” to leaving the Royals for the Braves than in the past, though the decision will likely boil down to whether he’s given full authority over the team’s baseball operations department. That’d suggest that Hart sticking around and holding onto the “president” title he’s held for the past few seasons would be a deterrent to hiring Moore.
- Derek Jeter’s former teammates Jorge Posada, Tino Martinez and Andy Pettitte are all candidates for jobs with the Marlins, reports Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. It’s not yet clear what role any would have with the organization, if hired, though Martinez’s first stint with the Marlins didn’t exactly end well, as he resigned from his post as hitting coach after allegations about being abusive with his players. In other Marlins news, Heyman writes that Jeter is “serious” about bringing Yankees exec Gary Denbo over to the Miami front office — likely as the head of player development and scouting. Michael Hill is expected to maintain his duties as the team’s president of baseball operations. Denbo’s contract with the Yankees is up soon, Heyman notes.