For the record, I am in no way advocating the idea that I am about to talk about. This is merely a thought exercise, some due diligence, putting on the general manager’s hat and exploring all options.
Aaron Nola is this team’s best pitcher and, perhaps overall, its most valuable long-term asset. There is nothing more important to a team’s success than its pitching staff, and Nola is the most accomplished and important member of the starting rotation.
In his last five starts, Nola has an ERA of 1.78 and a WHIP of 0.99. On May 31, after his first six starts, he had an ERA of 5.06. It was 4.76 after his start on June 16. Now, after his start on Saturday, it’s 3.54.
But the fact that he is so young (24) and under team control for such a long time (the earliest he can be a free agent is 2022), would make him perhaps the most valuable starting pitcher on the trade market.
If he were on the market. And other than hearing Matt Klentak and Andy MacPhail say that there was “no one” on the big league roster who was untouchable, it does not seem as though the Phillies have any interest in moving their star starter.
That is just fine by me.
But is there any scenario in which it would make sense? If Phillies management decides they probably won’t be a “good” team again until 2020 or 2021, would it make sense to move him now? And if so, what would a reasonable return be?
On this episode of The Felske Files, Justin Klugh and I explore that topic (starts at the 32:15 mark), and we both realize pretty quickly that the idea of trading Nola is mostly ridiculous.
Also discussed on Episode 133...
- The Phillies lost another series, this one to the Brewers in Milwaukee.
- Is Nick Pivetta a building block?
- The second half could be Vince Velasquez’ last opportunity to be a starting pitcher.
- Odubel Herrera is red-hot. Good thing he wasn’t run out of town.
- Nick Williams comes up big in the series finale.
- The Brewers were supposed to be rebuilding, just like the Phillies, but are comfortably in first place in the NL Central.
- Why is Milwaukee suddenly in a prime spot for the playoffs while the Phillies are on track for the worst record in baseball?
- J.P. Crawford is still mashing extra base hits and drawing lots of walks... is he officially back?
- Phillies mailbag leftovers!
- Phillies trade deadline questions... which prospects could be traded, and which Major League players will be gone?
- Phillies All-Star questions... will this team continue to send just one All-Star to the Midsummer Classic year after year?
- Who would be the Phils’ two All-Stars next year, if they send two?
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