3 pending Phillies free agents who should be brought back, 1 who should not

Who should the Phillies bring back for the 2024 season to help sustain their recent successful run and who should they move on from?
Minnesota Twins v Philadelphia Phillies, Craig Kimbrel
Minnesota Twins v Philadelphia Phillies, Craig Kimbrel / Brace Hemmelgarn/GettyImages
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One pending free agent to let go

Aaron Nola

A veteran, dependable pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies for the past nine years, Aaron Nola has definitely been through all the ups and downs with the ballclub in the past decade. The former first round pick of the Phillies from the 2014 MLB Draft has been a key part of the Phillies starting rotation ever since his debut with the ballclub back in 2015. Nola was one of the most consistent and reliable pitchers for the team over the years, including a stellar 2018 campaign in which he finished third in the NL Cy Young voting.

Overall for his career, Nola has compiled a solid 90-70 record with a 3.69 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, along with 1554 strikeouts in 1395.2 innings pitched in 230 games started. With such a solid track record, one would think that it should be automatic to resign him to a long-term deal. However, his current 2023 season has been one of his worst seasons of his career with the ballclub.

Despite holding a winning record of 12-8, Nola has not been his consistent self all year as he has been hit hard at times throughout the season. He has posted an unremarkable 4.30 ERA along with a respectable 1.12 WHIP. But much more worrisome was the fact that he has given up 80 earned runs already along with a league-leading 29 home runs, with still another five weeks to play.

Earlier in the season, the Phillies tried to work out an extension with Nola in which the multi-year contract was said to be worth more than $100 million. However, Nola turned down the offer, looking for potentially a bigger payday at the end of the 2023 season. The fact that he has been underperforming so far for the Phillies this year, while appearing to be trending downwards in his effectiveness at the same time, it may be to the Phillies’ best interest to move on from Nola, as he may not be able to perform up to the standards of the contract that he may be looking for. Nevertheless, the Phillies should thank him for all the years he has helped the ballclub and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.