It’s offseason time, which means we are officially in “option season”. In order to get to their free agency as fast as possible, several players decided not to exercise their options to remain a part of the National League champion. Conversely, the Phillies did exercise an option on one of their core players, a decision that is rather easy to make.
First, the one who is staying. Aaron Nola had his option picked up by the Phillies, an easy $18 million decision.
Phillies pick up Aaron Nola $18M option— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 7, 2022
This was never in danger of not getting picked up as $18 million for what Nola can give the team is still a bargain. Getting him extended should be on the docket for Dave Dombrowski and Sam Fuld this offseason.
Another decision that was made was Zach Eflin declining his side of a mutual option between him and the team.
Zach Eflin declines $15M Phillies option, hits free agent market— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 7, 2022
This was part of the agreement he made before the season started, where he’d have a mutual option to decide on or he could test the free agent market. Honestly, it’s somewhat surprising that Eflin turned his side of the bargain down. As much respect as he has earned around the team, $15 million is nothing to sneeze at for 2023, especially when he hasn’t proven he can be durable enough to give the team needed innings as a starter. He was a solid reliever at the end of the year, but it’s likely that his desire to remain a starter, and to see what other teams might offer him to remain as one, trumped his desire to stay with the team.
There are still some options to consider for the team (looking at you, James Cigarettes), but they will probably happen shortly.