The Phillies breaking all of our hearts and blowing it in the NLCS means we have to start thinking about the off-season far earlier than we hoped. And the biggest decision the Phillies will have to make is what to do with Aaron Nola. He is a free agent. And if you believe what Jayson Stark, Buster Olney, and other baseball insiders have said on our airwaves, he is going to get a lot of money.
Stark told us earlier this week that he does not think the Phillies will resign him. But that begs the question, who do they replace him with? The free agent market outside of Aaron Nola is not very pretty. Unless they make a splash and get Yoshinubu Yamamoto out of Japan, there are not many quality Nola replacements on the open market. Meaning they may have to go the trade route. The good news is that there are some great options in that market.
Jayson Stark even suggested as much when he joined The Best Show Ever earlier this week:
“If Nola is not back, does Dave trade for somebody like Corbin Burnes? You have a bunch of Ace-type starters who are a year away from Free Agency this winter. Somebody will get traded in that group. Dave is really good at going to get those guys.”
He gave us one of those names in Corbin Burnes. But he is not the only Ace Level pitcher set to hit the open market in 2024. The list of free agent starters next offseason is way better than this year’s class. And a lot of the time, you see guys in the last year of their deal traded, if not in the offseason then at the trade deadline. And considering those guys mostly play for small-market teams, it is easy to see some of them getting moved before the season.
So who are those names? Which guys could the Phillies look at to replace Aaron Nola if they either cannot resign him or just do not want to resign him? Let’s take a look at the Phillies options.