Ken Rosenthal and Matt Gelb of The Athletic report that the Phillies and pitcher Aaron Nola are “on the verge” of entering into a four-year, $45 million contract extension. There is likewise a club option for a fifth year.
Nola, who was about to head to an arbitration hearing in his first year of arbitration eligibility, went 17-6 with a 2.37 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 224/58 in 212.1 innings last year, finishing third in the Cy Young balloting. This deal will buy out all three of his arb years and at least his first year of potential free agency. His second if the Phillies exercise the option.
It’s definitely a short-term bum for Nola. He was seeking a $6.75 million in arbitration while the Phillies were offering $4.5 million. If he were to continue on the course he’s been on, of course, he’d stand to make far more than the $11 million or so he’ll be averaging out to on the back end of this deal.
Such are the tradeoffs in signing a deal this early, of course. And, obviously, this was his choice, of course. Pitchers can get injured and 2018 could’ve been a fluke year, so entering into this deal gives him the sort of financial security he may not have otherwise had over the next 3-4 years. The Phillies, meanwhile, have their ace on lockdown at least through his age-29 season.
The Kansas City Royals lost to the Baltimore Orioles last night. After the game they flew to Boston to play the Red Sox. They played for 12 whole minutes this afternoon, lost, and are now on their way to Cleveland to take on the Indians tomorrow. For their part the Red Sox are now heading to the airport to fly out to San Diego for a game against the Padres tomorrow.
All of this was the result of a suspended game on August 7, which was halted as the Royals and Red Sox were tied 4-4 in the top of the 10th inning. It was resumed, and concluded quite quickly, this afternoon.
When the game was suspended, Josh Taylor had just come on to pitch for Boston and Royals catcher Meibrys Viloria was ahead in the count to 2-1. It resumed at 1:05pm. Nick Dini pinch-hit for Viloria and lined out and the next two Royals batters went down in order as well.
In the bottom of the 10th Andrew Benintendi struck out, Christian Vázquez doubled, Chris Owings pinch ran for him, Sam Travis was intentionally walked and then Brock Holt singled in Owings. Game over, with the proceedings ending at 1:17 PM.
Not that it was a waste of everyone’s time. The Red Sox wisely made a fun day out of it by allowing anyone who is 18 or under to attend the game for free. All others were allowed to enter for a $5 donation to the Jimmy Fund. Concessions were dirt cheap, with sodas and hot dogs going for a buck or so. Kids were allowed to run the bases afterward and they kept the concession stands open for a good long while.
The reporters and some fans on the scene were tweeting about how great an atmosphere it was so, hey, not too bad.