MLB free agency is underway, and the Philadelphia Phillies have some maneuvering to do if they want to shore up their starting rotation and make sure the team is primed for another postseason run in 2024. It all starts with one big decision.
After Aaron Nola was the only Phillies player to be extended a qualifying offer ahead of the deadline, the belief is that he will decline the offer.
Looking at his stats across nine years with the Phillies, it's easy to understand why Nola is in demand on the free-agent market. He has a record of 90-71, with a 3.72 ERA, 1.129 WHIP, and 10 strikeouts per nine innings pitched. In those nine years, he has been on the mound for 1,422 innings, fifth-most for any starting pitcher during that same stretch. From 2015 through 2023, he also had the sixth-highest WAR at 33.9, according to FanGraphs.
In the regular season during 2023, the right-handed pitcher went 12-9 with a 4.46 ERA, 45 walks, and 202 strikeouts in 193 2/3 innings. He was stellar in the postseason, going 3-1 with a 2.35 ERA in four starts. While it wasn't all sunshine for Nola in 2023 — he gave up a career-high 32 home runs — he continued to be a workhorse as he started 32 games for the third straight year.
Nola has until 4 p.m. ET on Nov. 14 to decide about the $20.325 million qualifying offer. Assuming he packs his bags and leaves the team he has called home for the past nine years, let's take a look at a few destinations that could come back to haunt the Phillies.
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