May 30, 2024

Details of Pursuit of Phillies’ Aaron Nola Emerge

Details of Free-Agent Pursuit of Philadelphia Phillies' Aaron Nola Emerge -  Sports Illustrated Inside The Phillies

A report indicates that at least two teams were offering Aaron Nola just a bit less than what he got from the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Philadelphia Phillies have pitcher Aaron Nola under contract for the next seven seasons. But just how close did the Phillies come to losing him?

The Philadelphia Inquirer dug in and found that two teams were in close pursuit of Nola and were offering just a little less than the $172 million Nola ultimately got from the Phillies.

One of those teams is Atlanta, a team closely connected to Nola from the start of his free agency. Per the Inquirer, the Braves started their pursuit of Nola with a six-year, $162 million deal, which comes to $27 million per year. For perspective, Nola signed a deal that will pay him $24.5 million per year.

The Braves reportedly upped the offer as Nola’s negotiations with the Phillies appeared to heat up.

The other team involved was the Los Angeles Dodgers, a team that is hungry for veteran starting pitching after Clayton Kershaw’s surgery and the likelihood of Julio Urias being suspended for part of the 2024 season, at minimum.

Turns out the Dodgers brought a similar deal to the table, a reported $165 million. The duration wasn’t reported.

If Nola and his representatives from Paragon Sports International were hoping for a bidding war, the offers from the Braves and Dodgers appeared to be just enough to nudge the Phillies into offering a little more money and one more year of security.

In 2023 he went 12-9 with a 4.46 ERA with 202 strikeouts and 45 walks. He’s recorded at least 200 strikeouts in each of his last five full seasons. The Phillies may want him back, but a pitcher with a 90-71 record and a 3.73 career ERA will have plenty of suitors.

He’s also made one All-Star Game appearance, one World Series appearance and finished in the Top 10 of Cy Young voting three times.

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