4 big-time free agents who will be too expensive for the Cubs: #3 - Aaron Nola
Aaron Nola was looking for 8 years and $200+ million last winter in talks with the Phillies. They didn't give it to him and, now, he'll test the free agent waters for the first time in his career. The former LSU standout and first-round pick has been one of the most dependable starters in the game in recent years - a real-innings eater.
He wasn't quite the same pitcher in 2023 as he'd been to this point, but there's little reason to believe it'll sour his market in any sort of notable way. The right-hander turned it around in the postseason for the Phillies, after seeming to hit his stride in the closing weeks of the regular season.
A true workhorse, of course, is something the Cubs have lacked in recent years, so the fit is clear right out of the gate. Throw in the fact he's got big market experience (and an October resume, to boot) and he checks just about every box - except for the one where he doesn't wind up as the richest free agent deal in Cubs history.