The Philadelphia Phillies have extended RHP Aaron Nola’s qualifying offer of $20.325 million as he enters free agency for the first time in his career, according to Jon Heyman of The New York Post. According to Heyman, Rhys Hoskins, who missed the whole 2023 season after injuring his left ACL in Spring Training, did not get the qualifying offer.
It was a formality that the Phillies would extend Nola a qualifying offer, and it is just as formal that he will refuse it. While some potential free agents take the qualifying offer because it provides them with a big salary for a season, Nola will easily reach $20.325 million per year in free agency, most likely on a six-year contract.
Nola, a first-round choice out of LSU in 2014, is 90-71 with a 3.72 ERA and 3.38 FIP in 235 career starts. The longest-tenured Phillie has stated on several times that he would prefer to continue in red pinstripes, especially following a painful Game 7 NLCS loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
“I hope so, yeah,” Nola said when asked if he envisions his career continuing in Philadelphia.
In his year-end news conference, Phillies President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski stated that the team hopes to re-sign Nola, but that nothing is assured after failing to secure a long-term agreement during Spring Training discussions.
“I’d say he’s our priority to try and sign,” Dombrowski said. “Unfortunately, and I don’t mean this as a negative or positive, it’s just the reality — we didn’t sign him in Spring Training. We would have liked to have done that. We didn’t get it done. I can’t tell you that I feel 100% confident that we’re going to get it done, but we would like to sign him and we’ll be aggressive in trying to make that happen.”
The St. Louis Cardinals have expressed interest in Nola. According to reports, “several general managers” feel the Texas Rangers will desire his endurance. The Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox, San Francisco Giants, Baltimore Orioles, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Atlanta Braves are among the other teams that may be interested in Nola. So there’s no need for Nola’s team to contemplate accepting a hometown discount from the Phillies — he’ll almost certainly have many World Series contenders eager to give him top salary this winter.
Because the Phillies exceeded the luxury tax level in 2023, they would be entitled to a compensatory choice in the fourth round of the 2024 MLB Draft if Nola departed in free agency, provided he declines the qualifying offer.