1. St. Louis Cardinals
You were undoubtedly waiting for this one, so here ya go.
The connection between the St. Louis Cardinals and Aaron Nola has been all but omnipresent in the MLB rumors circles for months now. President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak has stated plainly that the priority to repair the disaster of the 2023 season is to upgrade the pitching going into 2024. And that has led to reports of a "wish list" for the Cardinals -- Nola has long been at the top of that.
Frankly, the Cards might end up just needing warm bodies with the way the rotation currently shakes out. There is going to be a lot of work that needs to be done in free agency or on the trade market to fill out a rotation that can help St. Louis contend next season as it's basically Miles Mikolas, a hope, and a prayer that is solidified as part of that group for 2024 right now.
Yet, it shouldn't be a shock that Nola is one of the priorities for this franchise. His postseason prowess -- even before the 2023 playoffs, but definitely after too -- his consistency over his career, and his veteran experience overall at 30 years old seem to check all of the boxes for what the Cardinals would be looking for in terms of a headliner to reshape the rotation.
The big key for the Cardinals, however, will be outbidding the Phillies or any of these other suitors who could make a play for the right-hander. The organization has typically not been overly willing to spend top-dollar. But with the situation and corner they've painted themselves into, they won't have a choice if they want to pursue the rebuild plan they hope to this offseason. That starts with ponying up for Nola.