Blake Snell Could Be The Phillies Aaron Nola Replacement
After 9 seasons with the Phillies, Aaron Nola’s career here could be at an end. He is hitting the Free Agent Market for the first time in his career, and the expectation is that there will be a significant market for him. Jayson Stark has even said on ‘The Best Show Ever?’ that he could get upwards of $230 million. Stark also said that the Phillies and Nola were far apart last offseason during their negotiations. But if he does walk, his replacement in the Phillies rotation could be on the Free Agent Market. Blake Snell.
Snell spent the last 3 seasons with the Padres, after pitching for the Rays in his first 6 seasons. He won the AL Cy Young back in 2018 and is going to win the NL Cy Young this season. It will make him just the 7th pitcher ever to win the award in both leagues, joining Pedro Martinez, Roy Halladay, Max Scherzer, Gaylord Perry, Roger Clemens, and Randy Johnson. He has a 3.20 ERA and an 11.1 K/9 rate across his career.
The rumor makes sense, considering his connection to Harper. The two are friends going back to when they were kids. And we have seen the Phillies be very willing to go out and get guys Harper counts among his friends. Last year it was Trea Turner, and they traded for JT Realmuto who was friends with Harper.
USA Today reporter Bob Nightengale lent more credence to that rumor in his MLB Offseason preview article recently.
“GMs believe that the Phillies will let Nola walk, and will turn their attention to Blake Snell, who’s about to win his second Cy Young award.”
Snell brings more consistency to the table than Nola does. But it also comes with the drawback of being less available. Snell has never pitched more than 200 innings in a single season, a feat Nola has been a lock to accomplish every single year. But when he is on the mound, he has been as good as anyone in the league. And as a lefty, he gives the Phillies the option to go from on great righty in Wheeler, right to a tough lefty to keep teams off their game.
Last year the big name connected to the Phillies was Trea Turner, and they went out and got him. The year before that a lot of people had Nick Castellanos connected to the Phillies, and they got him. So where there is smoke, there is often fire. Blake Snell is definitely a name to keep an eye on.
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