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.