Aaron Nola, 30, the biggest free agent starter in Major League Baseball, will remain a member of the Philadelphia Phillies’ one-club team. This is good news for Ryu Hyun-jin, another starting pitcher awaiting free agency.
MLB.com, the official website of Major League Baseball, reported on Tuesday (Nov. 20), “The Philadelphia Phillies have agreed to terms with Nola on a seven-year contract. The deal is worth $172 million, according to multiple sources.” “Nola is now one of the greatest pitchers in Philadelphia history. He will finish his career as the best Phillies pitcher ever.”
Under the terms of the deal, the 30-year-old Nola will be 37 years old when he completes his 16th big league season in 2030. If he completes seven full seasons with no variables, he will move into second place on the franchise’s all-time list for most seasons pitched, passing Steve Carlton, who played 15 seasons in Philadelphia from 1972 to 1986. The top spot is held by Mike Schmidt, who was a Phillies one-club man for 18 years from 1972 to 1989.
The Phillies have Nola for one reason. To win their third World Series title since 2008. “It made sense for the Phillies to continue their relationship with Nola,” said MLB.com. “The Phillies needed Nola to win the World Series, and they need a strong starting rotation to get there. The Zack Wheeler-Nola one-two punch will remain in place next season, and the top of the rotation is expected to be led by Ranger Suarez, Taijuan Walker, and Christopher Sanchez. The Philadelphia starting rotation’s 2023 WAR (wins above replacement) of 17.7 ranked first in the league.” 캡틴토토 도메인
Born in 1993, Nola made his major league debut in 2015 after being selected by the Phillies with the seventh overall pick in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft. In his third year, Nolan broke onto the national scene with 10 wins in his debut in 2017, followed by 17 wins and his first All-Star nod in 2018 and 12 wins in 2019. This year, he went 12-9 with a 4.46 ERA in 32 games, leading the team to the National League Championship Series. Nola’s career big league record is 235-90-71 with a 3.72 ERA in 1422 innings (588 strikeouts).
Of course, as with any multi-year deal, there are risks. In particular, Nola’s 2023 season was his second-highest ERA since 2016 (4.78), and his 25.5% strikeout rate was his lowest since 2016. His 32 home runs were tied for seventh in the league, but Nola allayed concerns in the postseason, posting a 2.35 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 23 innings.
Additionally, over the past six seasons, there has been virtually no pitcher in the major leagues who can compare to Nola. Along with Yoshinobu Yamamoto (Japan) and Blake Snell, Nola was one of the big three starting pitchers in free agency, and he logged 1065⅓ innings between 2018 and 2023, second only to Cy Young Award winner Gerrit Cole (New York Yankees). His six seasons of WAR (5.0) also ranked fifth behind Max Scherzer (New York Mets), Cole, Wheeler, and Jacob deGrom (Texas Rangers).
With Nola signing a big contract, other top free agent starters like Yamamoto, Snell, Jordan Montgomery, and Sonny Gray are expected to see their prices skyrocket. There have even been reports that the Atlanta Braves, who were targeting Nola, have shifted their focus to Gray and are willing to spend big. This will also be good news for free agent Ryu Hyun-jin, who opted to stay in the major leagues instead of returning to Hanwha.