The Philadelphia Phillies and starting pitcher Aaron Nola have officially agreed on a contract for seven years at $172 million, locking up the longest-tenured player and keeping the core of this team intact.
Nola has been a lightning rod for discussion with Phillies fans as his nine-year career has been a roller coaster, with the majority of the years spent during an organizational rebuild. But the Phillies have been World Series contenders the last two years, and Nola has been one of the linchpins of the team.
The 30-year-old right-handed pitcher has spent the entirety of his nine-year career with the Phillies, making his debut in 2015. He has pitched to a career 3.72 ERA, 3.38 FIP, and 1.128 WHIP. He's as reliable as they come, averaging 206 innings per year.
As Dave Dombrowski and the front office continued doing their due diligence on the starting pitching market this offseason, it obviously became clear that Nola’s reliability, familiarity with the organization, and skill set fit the team’s needs and they were able to get a deal done.
Nola was said to be getting significant interest from a division rival, the Atlanta Braves, and long-time playoff foe, the St. Louis Cardinals, but he will be donning the red pinstripes for the foreseeable future. It was reported that Nola met with multiple other teams and turned down more money to remain in Philadelphia, the city and team that he has grown with since 2014.
At $24.5 million AAV, Nola will make the third most on the team in 2024, behind Trea Turner ($27.3 million) and Bryce Harper ($26 million) and just above the Phillies' other ace, Zach Wheeler ($23.5 million) who will be a free agent at the end of the 2024 season.
The Phillies have been connected to a number of free agent pitchers so far this off-season, like Blake Snell, Sonny Gray, and notable Japanese pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto. The Phillies clearly valued the team continuity of locking up Nola and continuing the recent playoff success.
That being said, with Nola signing for a manageable number, the Phillies may not be done adding. With the top of their rotation now solidified, Dombrowski will most definitely continue to look to bolster the roster as the off-season continues and with the Winter Meetings approaching.