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November 19, 2023

Report: Aaron Nola, Phillies agree on seven-year deal

Aaron Nola is staying put as a Phillie after reaching an agreement on a new seven-year, $172 million contract with the club.

Aaron Nola will remain a Phillie for the foreseeable future. 

The Phillies and their longtime right-hander reached an agreement Sunday on a new seven-year, $172 million contract, which will keep the top of the club's starting rotation between Nola and Zack Wheeler intact going into 2024. 

USA Today's Bob Nightengale was first to report, and's Todd Zolecki confirmed the total value soon after.

Nola became a free agent after this past season, leading the Phils to enter the winter with starting pitching a top priority, though with a clearly stated interest in addressing that by keeping their longest-tenured player around for a while longer. 

"He's our, I'd say, our priority to try to sign," club president Dave Dombrowski said after the Phillies' defeat in the NLCS. "We didn't sign him in spring training. We would've liked to have done that and we didn't get it done, so I can't tell you that I feel 100 percent confident we're gonna get it done, but we would like to sign him and be aggressive in trying to make that happen."

But it was never a certainty. 

As one of the top pitchers available on this winter's market, Nola was always going to be in for a big payday from a number of rumored potential suitors – from the Cardinals to the Yankees, Rangers, and even the Braves from within the division. 

By a certain point, he was expected to fetch a deal worth upward of $200 million and may have even had it on the table too after meeting with other clubs, per the New York Post's Jon Heyman. But he chose to stay in Philadelphia, with the only organization he's ever known and the rebuild he saw all the way through into contention.

"I love it here," Nola said ahead of the NLCS last month, with the Phillies' postseason run in full swing but the uncertainty of his future at the time looming.  "Obviously, it's the only place I've been. Came up through some special times, in the rebuilding era and getting to witness and be a part of a lot of different types of teams, and to be on a team like we are – like I am now – it's really cool and special to see and to be a part of – all the success and failures to get to where we are now."

And now to where they'll go next.

After a few weeks of relative quiet in anticipation of baseball's winter meetings early next month, the Phillies checked off their biggest need ahead of them, which should allow them to go on the hunt for bullpen help and maybe a corner outfielder too. 

However, there's a chance the Phillies still aren't done building out their rotation, as The Philadelphia Inquirer's Alex Coffey is reporting that a pursuit of Japanese ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto could still be in play. 

Taking care of Nola could also free the Phillies up to begin looking into a possible Wheeler extension as well, since his deal will expire after 2024. 

For now though, Nola has a new deal. He's staying put in Philadelphia. And the first domino fell in what could be an eventful winter. 

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