After a disappointing finish in the 2023 MLB postseason, the Philadelphia Phillies could be looking to make some changes in the offseason as they try to get back to the World Series in 2024. The Phillies will look to upgrade their bullpen and potentially the starting rotation, depending on what happens with veteran starting pitcher Aaron Nola.
Last week, MLB Network insider Jon Morosi reported that he doesn’t get a sense that the Phillies and Nola are at all close on a reunion. However, the Phillies remain engaged on the Nola contract front.
Below, we’ll catch you up on all the latest news and free agency rumors involving the Phillies, as we are less than a month away from the Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tennessee.
- Morosi reported on Monday that the Phillies and the World Series champion Texas Rangers are strong candidates to sign free-agent reliever Josh Hader. Hader is the best reliever on the free-agent market and could help solidify the backend of the Phillies’ bullpen, which struggled late in the postseason with Craig Kimbrel. Last season with the San Diego Padres, Hader had a stellar 1.28 ERA, recorded 33 saves, and racked up 85 strikeouts in 56.1 innings pitched. The 29-year-old’s calculated market value is a five-year, $87.7 million deal, according to Spotrac.com.
- Nola is receiving a lot of attention on the free-agent market from two NL teams. Morosi also reported on Monday that the Braves and Cardinals are among the teams showing interest in the right-handed pitcher. It doesn’t come as a surprise to see St. Louis in the mix, as their starting rotation was in shambles this season (.438 team Win-Loss percentage and 30% quality start percentage). However, the Braves are a wild card here as they don’t need Nola, especially with Spencer Strider and Max Fried at the top of their rotation. Atlanta reportedly wants to add a starting pitcher this offseason, and who better than Nola to give them a formidable top-of-the-line rotation?
- Lastly, with Bryce Harper staying at first base for the foreseeable future, Rhys Hoskins will likely be playing elsewhere next season. Patrick Mooney and Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic reported on Sunday that the Chicago Cubs view Hoskins as a “good fit” for their roster. They also added that Hoskins would be “an impact player with postseason experience without having to go long on a contract.” Hoskins missed the 2023 season after suffering a torn ACL in spring training. He would be a potential replacement at first base for the Cubs if they cannot re-sign Cody Bellinger.