We'll glad accept this one is a bit more outlandish, but sometimes it's fun to play devil's advocate. Along these lines, let's make the case for why the Phillies should have traded Aaron Nola.
There's no denying Nola has been a loyal servant to the Phillies, now in his ninth Major League season with the organization. As recently as last season, he was pitching as well as ever.
The 2018 All-Star recorded the second-best ERA of his career, as well as his best ever WHIP and FIP. He led the NL in fewest walks per nine innings and finished fourth in voting for the Cy Young.
Unfortunately for everyone concerned, Nola has been a fair bit less productive this season. This includes a jump in his ERA to 4.58, while being on course for a single-season high in FIP.
In addition, the 30-year-old leads all NL pitchers in home runs given up with 26, one-off his career-high. Unsurprisingly, this also translates into the worst home run percentage of his time in the Majors.
Some would quite rightly argue that Nola can still turn things around. That he has too much history of being a good pitcher, to believe he's already on a downward trajectory in his career, especially with him only recently turning 30.
In this respect though, history does not shine too kindly on the 2014 seventh overall draft pick. More specifically, when it comes to the business end of the regular season.
As per Martin Frank of the Delaware News Journal, in September Nola has a career record of 11-16 with a 4.26 ERA. The winning percentage is the worst of his career, while the ERA is his second-worst month.
One final factor to consider in the argument that the righty should have been traded, is his contract. Currently on $16 million for this year, he is due to become a unrestricted free agent after this season, meaning the Phillies could potentially now lose him for nothing.