After Shohei Ohtani agreed to his mammoth $700 million contract, the largest contract in MLB history, where do Philadelphia Phillies starting pitchers land on the scale of biggest contracts in history?
Aaron Nola's recently signed deal comes in as the 13th-largest contract ever given to a starting pitcher, per Spotrac. If you filter the results to currently active players, he moves up to sixth — not too shabby.
But what about the Phillies as an organization? What are the largest contracts the various iterations of the front office have doled out to starting pitchers over the years?
With a quick reminder that we're looking at the total value of the deals, not the annual value, let's dig in — with a familiar name to kick things off.
No. 5: Aaron Nola, $45 million/4 years
Aaron Nola's first appearance on our list sees him come in with the fifth-largest contract for a starting pitcher in Phillies history. He signed his four-year, $45 million deal in February of 2019, which was technically an arbitration extension, and how could they not ink him to a multi-year contract?
There's no way the Phillies general manager at the time, Matt Klentak, wanted the homegrown talent to get a sniff of free agency after the 2018 season he put together. The former first-round pick went 17-6 for a Phillies squad that finished below .500 at 80-82. He threw 212 1/3 innings (which still stands as his career-high) across 33 starts, striking out 224 batters and finishing the year with a sparkling 2.37 ERA and 0.96 WHIP. The 25-year-old earned an All-Star nod, finished third in NL Cy Young voting, and even received MVP votes.
This deal carried him through the just completed 2023 season after the team exercised its $16 million club option following the 2022 campaign. From 2019 to 2023, Nola went 49-43 with a 3.97 ERA and 1.12 WHIP. More importantly, he helped the team return to the postseason in 2022 for the first time since their 2011 NLDS appearance.