LSU right-hander and No. 7 overall draft pick Aaron Nola has agreed to a contract with the Phillies, the team announced.
Nola has a chance to be one of the first–and perhaps the first–player from the draft class to reach the majors because he’s a polished college starter with excellent control and incredible overall numbers against good competition.
He was considered a consensus top-10 talent in the draft class after going 11-1 with a 1.47 ERA and 134/27 K/BB ratio in 116 innings for LSU this season. He was also 12-1 with a 1.57 ERA and 122/18 K/BB ratio in 126 innings last season.
Those are about as good as numbers can get in major conference college baseball and Nola is hardly a soft-tossing control artist with poor raw stuff. He can reach the mid-90s with his fastball and has a chance to be a top-of-the-rotation starter.
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.