Are we sure Steve Cohen doesn’t own the San Diego Padres, too? They’re out there spending a ton of money. They’re handing out a lot of extensions to their star players. Suddenly, the New York Mets have a lot of competition in the free agent market.
Manny Machado is no longer available for the Mets to steal away from the Padres. It doesn’t mean a battle between these two clubs has ended.
Next winter, the Mets and Padres could go toe-to-toe looking for outside help. These three free agents would be fits for both rosters.
1) NY Mets could battle the Padres to sign Aaron Nola
Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Aaron Nola would be a great pickup for the Mets. Hurting the Phillies in any way has its benefits. Taking away their longtime homegrown ace would be a kick to their morale.
Nola would also be a fit for the Padres whose starting rotation isn’t set beyond 2023. They have a couple of veterans signed. But with Blake Snell hitting the open market next year and other replaceable starters in the mix this year, going after Nola would make sense for San Diego. In particular, if the Padres keep Austin Nola, bringing some more Brotherly Love to San Diego feels like destiny.
The Phillies will definitely be in the mix to retain Nola. An extension is a possibility before the regular season even begins. The Mets should keep a close eye on him. With Max Scherzer’s opt out plus the impending free agency for Carlos Carrasco, New York will need to add at least one top arm next winter.