Philly baseball followers didn’t even have to attend till the turkeys had been within the oven for the primary main Phillies information of the offseason, as Bob Nightengale and Jeff Passan reported Sunday that the staff has introduced again Aaron Nola on a seven 12 months, $172 million contract that may preserve their no. 2 starter on the town till the tip of the 2030 season.
The Phillies have loved important postseason success lately, with a visit to the World Sequence in 2022 and an NLCS run that just about resulted in a return to the Fall Basic this 12 months. That being stated, attending to the playoffs by way of a Wild Card spot is all the time going to be a extra unsure path than profitable the division, and in every of the final two seasons, the Phils completed effectively behind the division chief. For a staff with an getting old core that’s in win-now mode, the aim is to do higher, and it will be laborious — and costly — to enhance the staff from 2023 with out protecting Nola within the fold. Nola, the staff’s first-round decide again in 2014, received’t come cheaply at $172 million. From a pure worth standpoint, ZiPS isn’t overly enthusiastic about that determine:
ZiPS Projection – Aaron Nola
But when any staff is justified in paying greater than the projection suggests for Nola, it’s the Phillies, provided that they’re a rich staff smack dab within the win vary the place further wins are essentially the most invaluable.
This projection is an enormous step down from Nola’s forecast earlier than final season, when ZiPS would have prompt a seven-year, $158 million extension, considerably nearer to his precise contract determine. Drawback is, Nola did have a relative down season, effectively off his 2020-22 averages, and that makes him riskier when contemplating an enormous deal. Whereas Nola will in all probability enable fewer house runs in 2024, batters did hit him extra efficiently than in 2022. Together with his exit velocity and hard-hit numbers going up a bit, it isn’t all easy house run volatility at play. Dropping 20-25% of your strikeout charge is a worrying signal for an older pitcher as effectively. That being stated, it’s a nonetheless an affordable begin to the offseason for the Phillies, who hopefully received’t be content material to only preserve the present staff intact.
My colleague Ben Clemens will probably be again tomorrow with extra on the Nola signing.