Aaron Nola and Phillies agree to four-year contract

Former first round pick Aaron Nola has developed into a true ace, and will now front Phillies rotation for at least the next five years. (Ian D’Andrea/Flickr)

The Philadelphia Phillies and starting pitcher Aaron Nola have agreed to a four-year contract per an announcement from the team this morning.

The deal allows the Phillies and their emerging young ace hurler to avoid an arbitration hearing which would have taken place tomorrow.

Nola will receive a $2 million signing bonus. He will then receive salaries of $4 million for the coming 2019 season, $8 million in 2020, $11.75 million in 2021, and $15 million in 2022. For the 2023 campaign he can earn $16 million, or there is a $4.25 million buyout.

Should the contract be fulfilled in its entirety, Nola would receive just shy of $57 million total. The deal would cover what could have been his first two years of free agency. Should he remain healthy, this would enable him to become a free agent at age 30 following the 2023 season – unless the Phillies can work out an extension prior to that point.

A native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Nola was the Phillies first round pick at seventh overall in the 2014 MLB Amateur Draft out of Louisiana State University. An advanced college prospect, he was able to reach the big-leagues the following summer.

Over his first four seasons in a Phillies uniform, Nola has put together a 41-28 record with a 3.35 ERA, 1.139 WHIP, and 3.24 FIP. He has allowed 493 hits over 569 innings across 93 games, all as a starter. Nola has a career 597/155 K:BB ratio.

Last season, Nola enjoyed a true breakout campaign. He went 17-6 with a 2.37 ERA and 0.975 WHIP, striking out 224 opposing batters over 212.1 innings. Nola was also named to his first National League All-Star team. For that performance he was named as an NL Cy Young Award finalist, finishing third in the voting. He also received NL MVP votes.

Three weeks ago, Nola represented the Phillies at Hopkinson Elementary School located in Philadelphia’s Juniata section as part of Major League Baseball’s Shred Hate campaign. He presented the kids with a strong anti-bullying message that day per Todd Zolecki at “We all need to respect each other and be friendly, because that’s what we remember. We want as many friends as we can have.

A growing fan favorite, Nola opens this season at age 25 at the beginning of what should be his prime years, through which this contract will take him. He is obviously a key homegrown piece to the Phillies plans as they hope to return to consistent contending status.






  1. Craig Glessner

    February 13, 2019 at 12:30 pm

    By far best money spent this year. I can’t believe McCutchen is getting paid more than Nola. This snowy winter day just got a lot brighter.

  2. Ken Bland

    February 13, 2019 at 2:10 pm

    Aaron Nola might have set an annual standard last year of what his norm is, let’s call it likely, but no lock. If he comes close, I’d think he’d have done better in arbitration over the next years. That’s not to say that should have been his path, but if its true (admittedly iffy), the union, said to ask its players to maximize earning ops for the good of its membership can’t be too thrilled. I could see where he left 12-15 mil on the table.

    And if latitude allows for trying to read into the situation even further, the agreement to the contract displays a team first attitude. He now goes into camp secure, and with every chance to have his head in the right place which translates to the team collectively.

    The union is absolutely right to protect its membership from compromised contracts. But there’s a great deal to be said for Nola’s accepting a deal as opposed to the ugliness brewing up in NY with the Mets and Jacob deGrom continuing their seemingly bitter and elongated contract hassles. deGrom continues to have an automatic chip on his shoulder from which to pitch. Nola just has to come up with something different. The challenge of proving that last year was the real deal will be a real good place to start. I’m ecstatic for him!

  3. Betasigmadeltashag

    February 13, 2019 at 3:08 pm

    To me an avg of what 11.5 million for 5 years if option is picked up. Seems pretty cheap for a potential top 5-10 pitcher in the game for his prime years. I like it and think it shows that he understands that to maximize personal gain over building a team is not worth it. Plus it shows this front office tries to take of its own.

    • schmenkman

      February 14, 2019 at 2:58 pm

      What I think it shows for Nola is that players get hurt all the time, and he has secured his future with this contract no matter what happens.

      That security comes at a price however, and so it’s a very team friendly deal.

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