It’s obvious that the Phillies wished to extend Aaron Nola last winter season.
Speaking on WIP-FM radio in January, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski stated an extension for Nola was “something we’d like to do” (as communicated by Alex Coffey of the Philadelphia Inquirer). He even more discussed, “We want Aaron to be in the organization for a long time, no question. We love him. We love his abilities. I know he likes it in Philadelphia. So that’s something that will be in our mind… It’s never easy to be able to get done, but we’d love to keep Aaron in the organization for a long time.”
About a month later on, Matt Gelb of The Athletic reported that the 2 sides had actually exchanged deals, and a couple of months after that, Jon Heyman of the New York Post exposed that the group’s deal was north of $100MM, although he noted it was well except the $162MM warranty Carlos Rodón received from the Yankees in December.
Now, Bob Nightengale of U.S.A. Today is reporting that the 2 sides were never ever especially near a contract. According to Nightengale, the All-Star right-hander looked for an eight-year offer worth over $200MM – considerably more than Rodón’s six-year, $162MM pact. The Phillies, for their part, weren’t going to go anywhere near that number, rather using a 4- or five-year agreement.
It’s easy to understand why Nola was requesting a lot, however at the very same time, it’s not a surprise the group was reluctant to extend him through his age-38 season. Heading into the 2023 project, the righty appeared like among the leading impending complimentary representatives, maybe 2nd just to Shohei Ohtani. Ten complimentary representatives had actually signed nine-figure offers the previous winter season, and the highest-paid pitchers, Rodón and Jacob deGrom, drawn in $185MM and $162MM, respectively. Nola has actually never ever been as dominant as those 2 pitchers at their finest, however he is even more resilient, and because his very first complete season, he has actually outmatched both in Baseball Reference WAR. Thus, it was constantly going to take a large warranty to persuade him to give up complimentary firm.
The Phillies have actually long been reluctant to sign pitchers to long-lasting agreements. The biggest offer the group has actually ever signed with a pitcher was a six-year, $144MM extension for Cole Hamels throughout his age-28 season. Meanwhile, the biggest complimentary representative agreement they’ve provided to a pitcher was a five-year, $120MM pact for Cliff Lee, when the veteran was entering his age-32 project. Needless to state, an eight-year, $200MM extension for Nola would have been entirely unmatched for this ball club.
At the very same time, the Phillies have actually been more aggressive with their costs because Dombrowski took control of, going beyond the high-end tax for the very first time in 2022 and signing a complimentary representative to a nine-figure handle each of the previous 3 offseasons. What’s more, Dombrowski signed a number of pitchers to big-money agreements throughout his time with the Tigers and Red Sox, specifically Justin Verlander, David Price, and Chris Sale. Nevertheless, the Phillies and their leading baseball executive weren’t going to satisfy Nola’s needs for an extension this previous winter season.
Nola might still be back in Phillies pinstripes next season, however at this moment in the year, it’s all however specific he’ll check the waters of complimentary firm initially. While his efficiency in 2023 might have lowered his worth (4.46 period in 32 starts), he stays among the most resilient beginning pitchers in the video game. Moreover, his underlying numbers are less offending than his period (3.75 SIERA, 3.77 xERA, 4.49 K/BB), and he has actually looked extraordinary so far in the postseason. The 2018 Cy Young finalist ought to be amongst the most in-demand righties on the marketplace, together with Ohtani, Sonny Gray, and NPB star Yoshinobu Yamamoto. Indeed, a minimum of one group, the Cardinals, has actually currently revealed interest in pursuing Nola this winter season.