Phillies First Offseason Mailbag: Questions about Nola, Hoskins, Trout
We are at the end of the road for the 2023 Phillies season and the World Series is happening without them. After the disappointing Phillies exit from the playoffs, we look at the big questions that listeners have as we head to the offseason.
Do you think the Phillies will sign Aaron Nola? Should they sign Aaron Nola?
I have tried really hard to look at this objectively. Last Spring, I felt really optimistic that the Phillies and Aaron Nola would agree to a long-term extension. Both sides had expressed that they hoped that the relationship would continue. However, by the end of Spring Training, they got no deal done.
During the playoffs, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported that Nola had been seeking an eight-year contract.
Jim Bowden of The Athletic had a five-year, $125 million deal as what Nola would get this offseason. I really do not think that is sufficient in terms of years or money. We just watched an MLB playoffs where even the World Series teams are throwing bullpen games. Nola will be in demand.
Maybe Nola does not get his eight years, but maybe he gets seven. Would he be able to get $200 million and seven years? I think he could.
I do not think that would be a wise decision on behalf of the Phillies. If the Phillies were paying for seven years of Nola like the last seven years he gave the Phillies, then I would emphatically suggest they do so. While he still may have a few good seasons ahead, I think that any pitcher into their late 30s represents a substantial risk.
The Phillies have many position players signed to long deals already.
It's true the Phillies are in win-now mode. It's also true that if Nola leaves, it leaves a really big void for the Phillies. That is one that will be a major task for Dave Dombrowski this offseason.
Yesterday, Mike Gill looked at three potential trade targets for the Phillies in the starting pitching department.
I think that the Phillies could work out a Zack Wheeler extension and add another starting pitcher. I am not sure just who yet, but that would help the Phillies this year and beyond. Wheeler took a discount to come to Philadelphia the first time because his wife is from New Jersey and they'd be happier here. I think a shorter extension for Wheeler and another addition would make more sense.
Of course, that's IF Dombrowski can come up with another option.
Do you think that Rhys Hoskins will return?
As much as I like him, and as much as I think he has been a great guy for the City of Philadelphia, for the Phillies clubhouse, and overall is a really good player, I think there is a major reality in play here: The Phillies simply cannot have both Kyle Schwarber and Rhys Hoskins on the roster at the same time.
It was not that long ago when the Phillies defense was costing them games daily. Upon his return to the field, Bryce Harper took hold of first base admirably. While Harper could stay at first base or return to the outfield - there will be an opening for somebody.
The somebody could be Johan Rojas - though probably not. But I think whoever it is, defense would be a priority.
I see Hoskins signing with the San Francisco Giants. The Giants have no clear first baseman or DH and Hoskins could do one or the other. I also thinks he fits nicely with the Farhan Zaidi-type player. Hoskins grew up a San Francisco Giants fan.
I think Hoskins will rebound nicely next year. The question just becomes, who is the defensive-type player the Phillies can add, and where will he play?
Are we allowed to talk about trade for Mike Trout yet?
This is the question that will never, ever go away in South Jersey. Fans will always dream of the day that beloved local boy from Millville, Mike Trout joins the Philadelphia Phillies. Why are we talking about it yet again? Well, this year maybe - just maybe - Trout may be on the trade market. Here's what's going on.
While we were caught up with the Phillies in September, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported that this offseason might be the time that the Los Angeles Angels consider a Mike Trout trade.
Trout, meanwhile, has a full no-trade clause. Jon Heyman of the NY Post reported that there has been "no indication" that Trout will consider a trade. However, Heyman speculated that the Phillies and the New York Yankees "make sense".
So really, this is all speculation at this point.
It might be a good idea for the Angels to trade Trout. With Shohei Ohtani sure to depart, the Angels are in major need of a reset. If they hope to get anything in exchange for Trout, this is the year.
Trout signed a 12-year, $430 million deal in 2019. That means he is under contract through 2030. He is due $35.45 million every year through 2030. That's a big load to bear for any team.
I think we need to understand that Trout has been oft-injured and has not been productive as he was in the past. In the same way that the Sixers knew they were not getting James Harden in his prime upon that trade, Phillies fans should know that Trout is not what he was. And that's OK with the right mix.
And that could mean needing to trade Nick Castellanos in the deal. That could mean the Angels softening the financial blow. That could mean the Phillies getting another useful piece in the deal.
It would be a very complicated deal. It would be a risky deal. It may be both to the point that the Phillies might not have interest. How is the Giancarlo Stanton deal working out for the Yankees?