right handed Aaron Nola And the Philadelphia Phillies agreed to a seven-year, $172 million contract on Sunday, sources told ESPN, locking up their longtime rotation stalwart with a massive deal that comes after nearly three weeks of inactivity on the free agent market.
The 30-year-old Nola, who received a physical in Philadelphia that will make the deal official, spent all 10 years of his professional career with the Phillies, who took him with the seventh pick in the 2014 draft and promoted him to the big leagues just a year later.
During that time, he was their consistent performer, especially over the last six seasons, during which he started the most games (175) and threw the second-most innings (1,065⅓, just behind. Gerrit Cole1,076⅔ of it). The Phillies’ National League East rivals, the Atlanta Braves, spent the early offseason pursuing Nola and hoping to add him to their rotation, choosing to stay in Philadelphia, a reflection of how much they loved him. City and its fast fan base.
Negotiations between Nola’s agents, Garrett Purcell and Joe Longo, and the teams pursuing him went into the weekend. Despite not signing any free agents since the market opened, Nola didn’t want to panic. Philadelphia and Atlanta were the final two suitors, and Nola received the largest contract for a pitcher in Phillies history and the 11th largest overall.
As Nola became a pitcher who twice finished in the top five in NL Cy Young voting, the Phillies emerged from a rebuilding phase, added stars around him and pursued a World Series appearance in 2022 with an NLCS berth this season.
Even though Nola’s ERA dropped back to 4.46 this year amid the home run spike, he still threw 193⅔ innings, striking out 202 and walking 45. His ability to chew innings, strike out hitters and limit walks made him one of the most coveted free agents this winter, a fact reflected in the size of his contract. Nola is now the sixth Phillies player with a nine-figure contract, joining the first baseman Bryce Harpershortstop Tree Turnerright handed Jack Wheelercaught JT Realmuto and outfielder Nick Castellanos.
The slow progress of baseball’s free agency should pick up with Nola’s signing. In a class headed by a double star Shohei OhtaniMost pitchers should have the biggest deals, including Japanese star Yoshinobu Yamamoto, the NL Cy Young winner. Blake Snell and postseason standout Jordan Montgomery.
Nola has been a key part of the Phillies’ success over the past two seasons, throwing 48⅔ innings in nine postseason starts and striking out five times as many hitters as he walks. Armed with a 92 mph fastball he commands exceptionally well and one of the game’s best curveballs, Nola has established himself as one of the game’s best control artists, the kind of skill the Phillies hope will be good.
In his career, Nola is 90-71 with a 3.72 ERA. Over 1,422 innings, he struck out 1,582, walked 371 and allowed 169 home runs.