They did it.
On the even of an arbitration hearing that would have pitted Aaron Nola against his employer over 2019 salary figures, the two sides have instead reached an agreement on a long-term contract.
Per The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal and Matt Gelb, Nola and the Phillies have agreed to a four-year, $45 million contract, plus a fifth-year club option for $16 million.
The deal covers Nola’s three arbitration years plus his first free-agent year. The club option would cover second free-agent year. https://t.co/wuLTdLrFL3— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) February 13, 2019
ESPN’s Jeff Passan provides further details on the deal’s structure, which includes a $2 million signing bonus and fifth-year buyout details.
The breakdown of Aaron Nola's deal with the Phillies:— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 13, 2019
$2M signing bonus
2023: $16M club option with $4.25M buyout
The deal can cover two years of free agency for Nola if the Phillies exercise the option.
In total, the deal could be worth five years and $61 million, which would eclipse one of Nola’s closest comps, Carlos Martinez, who signed a deal for 5/51 in February 2017.
The Phillies’ move to lock up their homegrown ace was a much-needed one, as the two sides avoid any potential acrimony in a hearing.
With an average annual value of $11.25 million, the Phillies’ payroll now stands at an estimated $166 million for 2019. We assume they’re not done making moves just yet.
Update (2/13, 5:00 p.m.): Jayson Stark reports that Nola’s contract also contains award incentives for Cy Young votes, as detailed below.
Aaron Nola's new contract includes an escalator clause for the two free-agent years the #Phillies can buy out, sources say.— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) February 13, 2019
His 2022 salary (& '23 option) would rise by $1 million for each Cy Young won, plus $500,000 each time he finishes 2nd & $250K for each 3rd-thru-5th.