The Philadelphia Phillies made the first major free agent signing of the offseason.
As it turns out, it wasn’t someone from outside the organization: it was one of their own free agents.
According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the Phillies are retaining their ace Aaron Nola on a mammoth deal.
“Right-hander Aaron Nola and the Philadelphia Phillies are in agreement on a seven-year, $172 million contract, sources tell ESPN. The deal is pending a physical. But it is done, and Nola, who has spent his whole career in Philadelphia, will remain with the Phillies,” he tweeted.
Right-hander Aaron Nola and the Philadelphia Phillies are in agreement on a seven-year, $172 million contract, sources tell ESPN. The deal is pending a physical. But it is done, and Nola, who has spent his whole career in Philadelphia, will remain with the Phillies.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 19, 2023
The Phillies faced competition, particularly from the Atlanta Braves, but the right-hander chose to stay home.
Perhaps Zack Wheeler is universally considered a slightly better pitcher at this point, but Nola is homegrown in Philly and has been on the team for longer (since 2015), and was a priority signing.
The Phils entered the offseason with the clear need to add pitching, and they re-signed a known commodity who has a career 3.72 ERA with a 1.13 WHIP.
In 2023, Nola posted a slightly disappointing 4.46 ERA in 193.2 innings but struck out 202 hitters and accumulated a 12-9 record.
He will slot back in as the “1B” to Wheeler’s “1A” in the Phillies rotation, but the team still needs to bring one or two quality arms for their staff if they want to get over the hump.
If that was the start to free agency when it comes to pitchers, we can expect some pricey deals for Blake Snell, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, and of course Shohei Ohtani, among other hurlers.
Phillies fans, however, are certainly enjoying their weekend with Sunday’s news.
Phillies Reportedly Open To Trading A Star Player
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