The Philadelphia Phillies have made several moves this offseason that show they are serious about winning in 2019. Today, they made a move that says they have their eyes on sustained success. The Phills have agreed to a 4-year, $45 million deal with their staff ace Aaron Nola.
The contract is heavily backloaded with Nola set to make $6 million this season and $15 million in 2022. There is also a fifth year club option worth $16 million with a $4.25 million buyout. If the Phillies pick up that option, Nola will be 30 years of age before he hits free agency.
Nola had a breakout year in 2018. He went 17-6 with a 2.37 ERA in 212.1 innings over 33 starts. He finished third in the NL Cy Young vote behind Jacob DeGrom and Max Scherzer. Being five years younger than either Scherzer or DeGrom, Nola could be a favorite to win the award before his new contract runs out.
Overall, Nola finished with the highest pitching WAR in the league at 10.5, according to Baseball Reference. He also finished the season at third in innings pitched, fourth in FIP with a 2.97, fifth in strikeouts with 224 and fifth in opponents batting average at .197.
Should he sustain the level of success he had last season, Nola’s new extension will turn out to be a very club friendly deal. That bodes well for the Phillies, who have now locked down the leader of their pitching staff for the next five seasons.
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