February 15, 2019
The Phillies another big offseason deal this week by signing starting pitcher and 2018 Cy Young candidate Aaron Nola to a four-year extension that will likely prove to be below market value by the time we're a few years into the deal — if not already.
The move, which was heralded by Phillies fans who now have some guarantee that their young ace will be leading the staff for the next several years, was met by some criticism among MLB agents, largely because of when the deal ends.
Here's more from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
If you’re thinking the Phillies got a steal with their signing of ace right-hander Aaron Nola to a four-year, $45 million contract, a number of rival agents would say you’re right.
The agents cite two issues with the contract, one of which is obvious: Nola, who finished third in the National League Cy Young voting last season, pushed back his free agency by at least one year and potentially two by also agreeing to a club option. Thus, he is likely to hit the open market entering his age-31 season rather than his age-29 season — a big difference, based upon how teams continue to recoil at any free agent whose age begins with a “3.” [theathletic.com]
That being said, the Phillies may not have only had Nola's price tag on their minds when signing the 25-year-old righty. The relatively low price they'll be paying Nola over the next few years should help them balance the payroll should they add a big free agent like Bryce Harper or Manny Machado.
Speaking of those two, who remain unsigned as spring training camps opened across Florida and Arizona this week, Manny Machado, who has also met with the Phillies, White Sox and Yankees, had a second meeting with Padres this week, according to Jeff Passan of ESPN.
San Diego Padres general manager A.J. Preller flew to Miami last week and met with free-agent infielder Manny Machado, sources confirmed to ESPN's Jeff Passan.
It's the second meeting the Padres and Machado have had this offseason and signals a deepening interest San Diego has for the four-time All-Star.
Machado is one of a handful of big-name free agents who remain unsigned with spring training camps already open across the majors. [espn.com]
The Phillies remain interested in both Machado and Harper, and are on the short-list to sign both players. But that's been the case for months, and we're all still waiting. How much longer will the wait continue? Let's find out together, shall we?
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