Starting pitcher Aaron Nola and the Phillies have agreed to a four-year, $45 million contract extension, the team announced Wednesday. The deal, which covers Nola’s three years of arbitration and one year of free agency, also includes a $16 million team option for the 2023 season.
Nola, 25, emerged as one of the top young pitchers in the National League with a breakout 2018 season. He posted a 17-6 win-loss record and 2.37 ERA with 224 strikeouts and 58 walks over 212 innings to finish third in NL Cy Young voting and 13th in NL MVP voting. According to Baseball-Reference, he was the most valuable player in the NL, and second-most valuable player in baseball behind American League MVP Mookie Betts, with 10.5 wins above replacement.
The Phillies now have that talent locked in through the 2022 season with an opportunity to retain him for one more year at a reasonable cost. Nola will be 30 years old by the time he’s assured of another chance at free agency, even though he could’ve hit the open market in three years by going the arbitration route.
Here’s how the money shakes out:
The breakdown of Aaron Nola's deal with the Phillies:— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 13, 2019
$2M signing bonus
2023: $16M club option with $4.25M buyout
The deal can cover two years of free agency for Nola if the Phillies exercise the option.
The Phillies drafted Nova with the seventh overall pick in the 2014 draft. He made his big league debut the following year but battled elbow injuries that limited his ability to stay on the mound. Last season was the first time he recorded more than 30 starts or topped 170 innings in a major league season.