5 free agent starters not named Shohei Ohtani the Phillies should pursue this winter

Adding any of these starting pitchers should help fortify an already solid rotation
Minnesota Twins v St. Louis Cardinals
Minnesota Twins v St. Louis Cardinals / Joe Puetz/GettyImages
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The Philadelphia Phillies are a team built around their star-studded lineup, but it's the pitching that has kept them afloat all season. Their rotation ranks 12th in the majors in ERA but seventh in innings pitched and they're at the top of the leaderboard in fWAR.

While the rotation is a strong one, it might not be together past this season. Aaron Nola and Michael Lorenzen will be hitting free agency. Zack Wheeler is set to hit free agency after the 2024 season, and Ranger Suarez the season after. With potential for so much turmoil in the next year or two, don't be surprised if the Phillies look to add to the rotation this offseason.

Shohei Ohtani is the dream target, and one that the Phillies will hopefully do whatever they can to acquire, but if the Phillies do miss out on Shohei, there're plenty of other arms Dave Dombrowski should pursue this winter.

1) The Phillies should pursue Sonny Gray in free agency this winter

Sonny Gray is in the midst of his age-33 season and is still one of the better and more underrated pitchers in the American League. He's spent most of his years with the Athletics and Reds, but has spent the last two seasons in Minnesota after the Twins acquired him via trade, and he's been everything they could've hoped for.

In 22 starts Gray has a 3.18 ERA in 124.1 innings pitched. He's allowed just five home runs all year, leading the league with 0.4 HR/9. He's also fanned nearly a batter per inning as he's struck out 8.9 batters per nine in 2023.

Gray was an all-star and will almost certainly earn Cy Young votes this season for the third time in his career. He could even be a Cy Young finalist for the second time.

He might not have the stuff other aces have, but Gray is a mostly durable, reliable arm that can anchor a rotation. He also has had some postseason success, posting a 2.95 ERA in his four starts with three of the four going extremely well. Gray would be a really good get to fit right in behind Zack Wheeler and potentially Aaron Nola in this rotation.