Nola is the best pitcher on the market this offseason - he’s going to get something like 6 years/$180m - Rondon was a similar caliber pitcher on the FA market last year (about 5 WAR per season the two years prior to FA, but he’s never been as durable as Nola and neither Rondon nor Nola has been consistently producing that 4-5+ WAR season like Wheeler), and Rondon got 6 years/$165m from the Yankees.
Looking at it now, I think the Phillies may actually pony up that money, and though not certain that is the best long term choice it is certainly the right choice for 2024. Otani being only a hitter for the next year (and maybe beyond, since it’s his 2nd TJ and that track record isn’t so good) is going to hurt the Phils in trying to retain Nola because teams like the Yankees, Mets, Dodgers, Cubs, Giants, etc. will look to Nola only as the available ace and thus will be on Nola from minute 1 instead of distracted trying to initially pay Otani $50-60m to play both ways.
If they don’t get Nola, the pickings are slim at SP - (1) Urias would have been interesting but can’t see the Phils pursuing him giving the domestic violence issues, (2) Blake Snell may be a target but he’s not as durable and not as good (even with his home park being Petco, his last 4 seasons WAR have been 1.0, 1.4, 2.1 and now 6.0 in his walk year). (3) Sonny Gray could be interesting on a 2-3 year deal (he’s 33, but last 3 years WAR 3.3, 2.3 and 5.3), but he famously wilted with the NYY and so not sure the Philly pressure cooker is a good spot for him.
The other choice seems to be Abel. I think he needs at least the first couple of months in the minors, if not the full season, to continue to refine his command. Tough decision coming on Nola for sure - the rest of the rotation is fine with Wheeler for one more season, Ranger and Walker property of the Phillies through 2026, and Sanchez through at least 2028 if they want him through his arb years. I won’t be surprised if they resign Lorenzen as a 6th starter/swing man out of the pen.