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 MLB.com: “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.
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