Several reports linked Aaron Nola to the Braves, but for those hoping Atlanta may be able to steal one of Philadelphia’s best players, that dream is now dead. Bob Nightengale is reporting that the Phillies have an agreement in place to keep Nola in Philadelphia for the next seven years.
The Phillies and Aaron Nola have now reached a tentative agreement on a 7-year contract worth $170-$175 million. Nola is undergoing a physical today before the deal becomes official. Talks between the Phillies and agent Joe Longo picked up steam the last two days.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) November 19, 2023
Despite reports, I always thought landing Aaron Nola was a long shot for the Braves. They would have had to totally flip the script on how they approach free agent starting pitchers, going from one-year deals to seven years. That’s a considerable jump that didn’t smell right. On top of that, the Phillies have much deeper pockets than the Braves. Were they really ever going to let him walk to a division rival?
I find it most likely that the reports of the Braves being interested in Aaron Nola were planted by his agent. What better way to get the Phillies interested than by leaking that their division rivals have interest in your client? It’s smart business, and it ended up getting Nola a lucrative contract to stay in Philadelphia.
This signing is the first major domino to fall in free agency. We will see what kind of ripple effect it has on the rest of the starting pitching market. It’s one less pitcher available, but Braves fans shouldn’t be too discouraged. There are still plenty of avenues for Alex Anthopoulos to navigate and land the frontline starter the Braves are searching for this offseason.
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