5 Phillies players we need to raise the bar for in 2024

Whether a particular player had a down year in 2023 or there’s more they can offer to the team, it’s time to raise some expectations for 2024.
Aaron Nola is one Philadelphia Phillies player the team needs more from in 2024
Aaron Nola is one Philadelphia Phillies player the team needs more from in 2024 / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages
6 of 6

Aaron Nola, SP

Right or wrong, when a player gets a new contract, it comes with new, and bigger, expectations. This offseason, the 30-year-old right-hander signed a seven-year, $172 million contract to stay with the Phillies. Even before the new deal, fans were calling for Nola to be better, but now the calls will be louder than ever.

2023 was a tumultuous season for Nola to say the least. He just couldn’t find any consistency and, statistically, had one of the worst seasons of his career. Over 193 2/3 innings, he had a 4.46 ERA, 1.151 WHIP, and 4.03 FIP. According to FanGraphs, his 3.9 fWAR would have him ranked 15th in the league behind Jordan Montgomery and just ahead of Kyle Bradish. He surrendered a career-high 32 home runs and had his lowest SO/9 rate at 9.4 since his rookie year in 2015.

With his new contract, Nola will make the 11th most in the MLB among active starting pitchers in 2024. And making $24.5 million a year means he'll be depended on to be a top-tier starter. His 2023 performance won’t cut it if the Phillies want to take the next step. The Phillies are hoping that now with a long-term contract secured, Nola settles in and finds more of the magic from 2018 when he came in third in Cy Young voting, was an All-Star, and even garnered MVP votes.

Nola has been a lightning rod for conversation on whether he is an “ace” or if the Phillies should extend him. Now that the Phillies gave him a contract, it’s time for the bar to finally be raised in 2024.

More Philadelphia Phillies news and analysis