Phillies fans watched on with bated breath as one of their two aces — right-hander Aaron Nola — hit the free agency market for the first time in his career. Fortunately for them, the whole saga took days, not months, to reach a conclusion.
Nola has agreed tentative terms to a seven-year deal to remain at Citizens Bank Park, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. The deal will see Nola thrust himself into the upper echelons of the game’s highest-paid starters, a list he has seemed destined to be on ever since his breakout 2018 campaign.
Nola had a wide array of suitors. Such is the case when you’ve averaged nearly 200 innings per season (not counting COVID-shortened years) since 2017. And although the former first-round pick wasn’t quite able to reach the heights of running mate Zack Wheeler, availability is the best ability. And Nola has it in droves.
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Here’s what you need to know as one of the game’s nastiest pitchers readies for a lengthier spell in the Quaker City.
Aaron Nola contract details
Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the terms of the Nola deal are as follows:
- Contract length: Seven years
- Contract value: $172 million
With an average annual value (AAV) of $24.57 million, Nola’s contract sees him break into the top 10 highest-earning hurlers, ranking just behind Tyler Glasnow and just above Luis Castillo.
His contract has no opt-out clause and no team options, according to the New York Post’s Jon Heyman.
Nola’s return to the organization that drafted him was no foregone conclusion. Multiple reports indicated that NL East rivals Atlanta entered lengthy talks with the righty — whose value as a workhorse has drawn numerous admirers from across the league. Ultimately, though, it seems Nola had his mind set on Philly. With the help of agents Joe Longo and Garrett Parcell, the two parties were able to reach an agreement on a deal which will make Nola the 11th highest-paid pitcher in baseball history.
How old is Aaron Nola?
Blink and you’ll miss it. Despite possessing the arm talent of a much younger man, Nola is entering into his age-31 campaign. He’ll turn 31 in June and has tons of mileage in his arm. Still, he has shown a proclivity for 200-plus inning seasons. For a Philadelphia side that fancies itself World Series contenders, that’s undoubtedly valuable.
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Aaron Nola stats
Nola came on the scene like a cannon, posting a 3.57 ERA (3.27 FIP) season in his second full year in the bigs. He then proceeded to string together one of the most impressive pitching campaigns of the 2000s, finishing third in NL Cy Young voting after striking out 224 batters in 212.1 innings with a 2.37 ERA (3.01 FIP) in 2018.
He hasn’t quite reached that level in the years since. But he’s cemented his status as one of the game’s most prolific starters. And his stuff is just oh so filthy — Nola ranked in the 96th percentile in chase rate, according to Statcast.
Here’s what his numbers have looked like over the years: