Aaron Nola has signed a seven-year, $172 million contract to stay in Philadelphia with the Phillies, the city he has played all nine seasons of his major league career, and the team that drafted him No. 7 overall in the 2014 MLB Draft. In what may have been one of the more lucrative free agent deals we see this offseason, Nola gets added back into a rotation that so far features Zack Wheeler, Ranger Suarez, Taijuan Walker and Cristopher Sánchez.
In 2023, Nola churned out a bit of a down year by his own standard. Pitching to a 4.46 ERA, but a solid 4.03 FIP and an even better 3.63 xFIP to counter against the relatively ugly standard runs allowed metric.
The 30-year-old right-hander still struck out over nine batters per nine innings, and limited walks to 5.7%. The Phillies are betting his ERA looks more like the underlying data suggests going forward, and it’s a good bet considering his career performce. From 2015-2022 (the eight seasons prior to 2023) Nola held an average FIP of 3.28 with a 3.71 ERA and a 17.6 K-BB%.
The deal might have come up just short of what some initially reported to be a contract around $200 million, but this is still one of the most predictable landings spots and contracts of the offseason.
The Phillies needed the impact at the top of the rotation and Nola reportedly took a bit of a hometown discount, suggesting the market may play out exactly the way many have projected: Another big one for players.
What could be next for Philly?
It was reported the Atlanta Braves nearly poached Nola until Philadelphia upped their offer. While the Phillies could look to add another impact starter, they likely turn their efforts to adding impact at the plate and in the bullpen. Jon Morosi mentions the club as strong candidates to sign Josh Hader here:
Hopefully, for fans of the Hot Stove, this leads to some more movement on the free agent market in the coming days. It has been a slow start with Nola being the only substantial free agent signed since the window opened on November 6.
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- PODCAST: The One Where Aaron Nola returns to Philadelphia and how two players could be holding up the market - November 22, 2023
- SIGNED: Aaron Nola signs seven-year, $172 million contract to remain with Philadelphia Phillies - November 19, 2023