Aaron Nola was viewed as a big-time talent before he made his Phillies debut on July 21, 2015 and throughout his first three seasons (two full seasons) with the major league team, he showed clear signs of having talent and being a potential piece for the Phillies to build around and then last season he exploded onto the scene, going 17-6 with a 2.37 ERA and a WHIP under one, which is pretty incredible. That season vaulted him to a third-place finish in the National League Cy Young race.
Today the Phillies rewarded him with a four-year contract extension worth $45 million. This contract extension also features a team-option for the fifth season in 2023. His new contract will start off smaller, with Nola only making $4 million this season, then $8 million the next season before he jumps over $10 million in the 2021 season. His option year will be for $16 million. His contract also features a $2 million signing bonus that will be spread out over the next four season for $500,000 in each season, and it features a $4.25 million buyout if the option year is not picked up
Nola has had back-to-back pretty good seasons and many think, myself included, that the season he had this past season is going to end up being closer to what Nola will be over his career.
If the option year is picked up in 2023, Nola will be 30-years old at the end of his contract, so it wouldn’t be too surprising if he is able to get another good contract after this one if he keeps pitching at the level that he did this past season.
For the Phillies this was an easy decision to make. Nola has the makings of being the ace in Philadelphia for years to come and really the average annual value of this contract is pretty low if Nola is going to pitch at that level. It also covers all three of his arbitration-eligible seasons so neither the Phillies or Nola will have to worry about that, although if Nola has another season like the one he just had he might be wishing he could go to arbitration and get a raise, but now he has the peace of mind knowing that he’s taken care of long-term.