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Aaron Nola Free Agency

Phillies make qualifying offer to Aaron Nola, list of other starting pitching options as MLB enters Free Agency

As expected, the Philadelphia Phillies made a one-year qualifying offer to now free agent pitcher Aaron Nola. 

Nola was on the receiving end of a qualifying offer worth $20.325 million on Monday and has until 4PM on November 14th to accept or reject the offer. 

Phillies Make Qualifying Offer to Aaron Nola

Side Note: We’ll get into the Rhys Hoskins post later today. Let’s focus on Aaron Nola. 

All things considered, you can bet the house on Nola rejecting the offer and opting to hit free agency because he’s definitely seeking a multi-year deal that will carry a price tag north of $200 million. 

If Nola did in fact accept the Phillies’ offer, he would be back on a one-year deal and hit free agency next season but again, do not expect that to happen. 

In the event that Nola hits free agency and signs with another team, the Phillies will receive a compensatory pick following the fourth round of the 2024 Draft.

Top Free Agent Starting Pitchers 

  • Aaron Nola 
  • Sonny Gray 
  • Shota Imanaga 
  • Jordan Montgomery 
  • Eduardo Rodriguez 
  • Blake Snell 
  • Marcus Stroman 
  • Yoshinobu Yamamoto

Dave Dombrowski said it at the end of the Phillies postseason run and it definitely holds even more weight looking at the options outside of Aaron Nola for a No. 2 starter in the rotation for 2024. 

Re-signing Aaron Nola must be the top priority for the Phillies this offseason. 

Here’s the issue. Before the start of the 2023 season, the Phillies and Nola were roughly $100 MILLION apart in their extension negotiations. That price tag was set to decrease given a “down year” for Nola, but his end-of-year resurgence paired with a strong postseason has probably kept that gap right around where it was in Spring Training last year. 

Phillies to let Nola walk and focus on signing Blake Snell? 

Here’s a rumor that I absolutely hate. The Phillies are apparently willing to let Aaron Nola walk while setting their target on now free agent pitcher Blake Snell. 

Snell won a Cy Young award in 2018 with the Rays, and is currently the front-runner to take home another one in 2023 for the National League after posting a 14-9 record with a 2.25 ERA for the underachieving Padres.

I really don’t like the idea of opting for Snell over Nola and I’m begging the Phillies to reconsider. Snell is a solid pitcher for sure and pitched great in 2023 on a “contract year” but he hasn’t pitched more than 130 innings in a season since 2018 and rarely pitches deep into baseball games. That doesn’t work with how the Phillies’ rotation is currently constructed. 

Yoshinobu Yamamoto, For All Things Holy

If Nola doesn’t return, the dream scenario would be the Phillies targeting Japanese superstar pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto. I’ve covered Yamamoto in-depth on The Liberty Line over the past year which you can read right here. The Phillies have scouted him TWICE during last year’s Japanese League regular season so it’s definitely something to keep an eye on.

We’ll have to see what direction John Middleton and the Phillies front office take over the next week but the Aaron Nola situation is definitely worth monitoring. 

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