While the Philadelphia Phillies surprised some when they re-signed Aaron Nola this weekend, the organization is reportedly far from done trying to bolster their starting rotation for 2024.
For the second straight season, the Philadelphia Phillies reached the playoffs as a Wild Card and were able to advance to the National League Championship series. However, unlike 2022, they were unable to reach the World Series. Nevertheless, despite falling short of getting their first MLB title since 2008, the club proved they are one of the elite in the NL.
Now, the organization heads into the offseason with the goal of improving the roster in ways to finally get over the hump and complete the championship story in 2024. This season, Philly was a top 10 team in average, home runs, runs batted in and runs scored. However, while their pitching staff was a solid group, it was clearly not up to the level needed to win a World Series.
Three of the team’s top five starters had averages above 4.00 and that will not due if they would like to win the National League East and aim for a bye in the postseason next year. To make sure they at least maintained the solid unit they had this season, the Phillies re-signed veteran Aaron Nola to a massive multi-year deal over the weekend despite rumors for months that the two sides were unlikely to agree to a new contract.
Philadelphia Phillies to make Yoshinobu Yamamoto top target in free agency
The agreement was a clear sign that Philadelphia understands that maintaining and improving the rotation is a primary objective this winter. With the top of the starting staff still intact, it seems the organization is now eyeing a top name on this year’s free-agent market to bolster the rotation.
On Sunday, Philadelphia Inquirer Phillies reporter Alex Coffey claimed that despite giving Nola a $172 million deal and already having one of the largest payrolls in the league, the team still “plans to be ‘pretty aggressive’ in pursuing” Japanese star Yoshinobu Yamamoto.
Along with NL Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell, the 25-year-old is viewed as the best pitcher in this year’s class and is receiving interest from many of the top teams in the league.
Yamamoto had another outstanding season for the Orix Buffaloes in 2023 as he posted a 17-6 record, 1.16 ERA, 0.860 WHIP, and 176 strikeouts in 171 innings this year. Some around MLB believe he could land a deal for as much as seven years and worth nearly $200 million this winter.