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Phillies already eyeing potential Aaron Nola replacement?

A Philadelphia Phillies hat in the dugout

Aug 8, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; A detailed view of Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Freddy Galvis (not pictured) hat and glove in the dugout against the Atlanta Braves in the first inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Phillies are already making contingency plans in case they lose starting pitcher Aaron Nola to free agency during the offseason.

The Phillies have preliminary interest in free agent starter Sonny Gray, according to Jon Morosi of MLB Network. Gray appears to be a top option if Nola leaves the Phillies for another team.

The Phillies’ preference would be to prefer Nola, who has helped anchor their rotation for years. However, contract talks prior to the season were unsuccessful, and Nola is likely to be a very expensive proposition, either for the Phillies or for someone else.

Gray turned 34 on Tuesday and is coming off a strong season with the Minnesota Twins, where he posted a 2.79 ERA in 32 starts. He would come cheaper than Nola, who is four years younger, but Gray actually has the better career numbers with his 3.47 lifetime ERA.

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