Phillies ace Aaron Nola agrees to deal
The Phillies have signed their ace right-handed pitcher Aaron Nola to a four-year contract extension, the club announced earlier today. The deal is worth $45 million, with a club option for a fifth year.
With this new extension, the Phillies now have Nola under team control for the next three arbitration seasons, as well as a year of him potentially being a free agent.
The Phillies’ 25-year-old ace is as promising as any starting pitcher in all of Major League Baseball. Last season, he finished third in the NL Cy Young race with a record of 17-4.
The numbers don’t lie
Nola was fourth overall among starters with a 2.37 ERA and fifth in innings pitched, with 212.1. In addition, Nola’s WHIP (0.97) was fifth best among pitchers, as he also finished with 25 total quality starts.
It is preferential to renegotiate a long-term deal as opposed to hashing out salaries in arbitration. Nola had been seeking the $6.75 million range in arbitration, as the Phillies countered with $4.5 million.
Nola’s new deal earns him a $2 million signing bonus and he will earn four million this season. His salary then increases to eight million in 2020, then to $11.75 million in 2021 and escalates to $15 million in 2022.
With last year’s All-Star season behind him, Nola should surpass all of our expectations in 2019. This is a scary thought since he baffled seemingly every offense that was put in front of him last season.
What comes to mind when capturing how dominant Nola was last season came in Boston last July. In a playoff atmosphere, Nola may have pitched his best game, going eight innings, allowing just an earned run against the best offense in the majors.
It was very “Cliff Lee-ish” in 2009 and was the game that should stand out to the entire league. Now, Nola can solely focus on becoming, perhaps, the first Phillies’ Cy Young award winner since the late, great Roy Halladay won it in 2010.
The brightest of stars
As spring training begins, the Phillies’ potential and star power is much improved. Furthermore, his team has a buzz that has been missing for the past eight seasons.
With heightened expectations for the Fightin’ Phils and a new era beginning, few stars have the potential to shine brighter than the Phillies’ ace.
FEATURED IMAGE VIA FLICKR BRYAN GREEN
ALL STATS VIA BASEBALL-REFERENCE.COM