The Philadelphia Phillies have not went to arbitration with a player since Ryan Howard in 2008, and it will remain that way at least through the 2019 season. On Wednesday, the club and ace RHP Aaron Nola avoided arbitration by agreeing to a guaranteed four-year, $45 million contract extension, which includes a $16 million club option for a fifth year.
Gabe Kapler on Aaron Nola signing 4 year, $45 million deal— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) February 13, 2019
“He just wants to come to the ballpark. Punch the clock. Kick ass. And go home. That’s precisely who Aaron Nola is. He doesn’t want any of the attention”#Phillies ⚾️🌴 pic.twitter.com/T0rQ0DtFNR
ESPN's Jeff Passan breaks down the contract:
- $2 million signing bonus
- 2019: $4 million
- 2020: $8 million
- 2021: $11.75 million
- 2022 (first eligible year of free agency): $15 million
- 2023: $16 million club option, with $4.25 million buyout
If the Phillies exercise Nola's 2023 option, the contract agreement would cover Nola's first two years of free agency through 2023. Nola's arbitration hearing was scheduled for Thursday morning. The right-hander requested $6.75 million, but was offered $4.5 million from the Phillies when arbitration figures were exchanged last month.
Nola, 25, went 17-6 with a 2.37 ERA, 0.975 WHIP, 25 quality starts, and 224/58 K/BB ratio in 212 1/3 innings last season, earning him his first All-Star nod and placing him third for the National League Cy Young Award. He finished in the top 10 among all major league starters in ERA, starts, quality starts, innings, WHIP, and strikeouts. Per Baseball Reference's valuation of WAR, Nola's 10.5 bWAR last season was the most by any pitcher in baseball since Randy Johnson in 2002 (10.7), and the most by any Phillies pitcher since Steve Carlton in 1972 (12.1).
Phillies pitchers and catchers reported to Clearwater, Florida, on Tuesday.