Phillies’ Dave Dombrowski has an Aaron Nola extension on his to-do list: ‘There’s no question about it’

Phillies’ Dave Dombrowski has an Aaron Nola extension on his to-do list: ‘There’s no question about it’

Though it ended with a World Series loss, the Philadelphia Phillies had a dream season in 2022, one in which they ended the longest postseason drought in the National League and came within two wins of a championship. Then a few weeks into the off-season, signed star shortstop Trea Turner to an 11-year deal. The Phillies want to finish the job in 2023.

Sometime soon, the Phillies will switch gears and start focusing on retaining their own players. First baseman Rhys Hoskins will be a free agent after the season, as will co-ace Aaron Nola. Philadelphia picked up its $16 million club option for Nola earlier this offseason, and earlier this week president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said they want to keep him for the long haul.

Here’s what Dombrowski had to say about a possible Nola extension during a WIP-FM (94.1) interview on Thursday (via philadelphia enquirer):

“It’s something we’d like to do,” he said. “We want Aaron to be in the organization for a long time, there’s no question about it. We love his abilities. I know he likes Philly. So that’s something that will be on our minds.”

“It’s never easy to be able to get [an extension] done, but we’d love to keep Aaron in the organization for a long time.”

Nola, 30 in June, has been one of the best and most durable pitchers in baseball for the past seven years. He is seventh among all pitchers in WAR (29.9) and seventh in innings (1,228 1/3) since Opening Day 2015 despite not being called up until July. Since 2018, Nola is third in WAR (23.9) and first in innings (871 1/3). He has been excellent. Don’t let the lone All-Star Game (2018) career selection fool you into thinking otherwise.

Earlier this month, we looked at Nola as an extension candidate. and noted that Carlos Rodón’s new six-year, $162 million contract with the New York Yankees might make sense for the Philadelphia ace. Nola has been much more durable throughout his career, although Rodon has been more dominant per inning the past two seasons. It’s still a reasonable contract benchmark that the Nola field could reasonably ask for and the Phillies wouldn’t insult him by offering it.

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The Phillies have poured a lot of money into their roster in recent years: They already have six players under contract with salaries of more than $20 million in 2024, and their top prospect, right-hander Andrew Painter, has an ace on the rise and should debut in sometime in 2023. Right-handers Mick Abel and Griff McGarry are also highly regarded and not far from the big leagues.

It’s conceivable that the Phillies could let Nola go and let another team pay big money for what will likely be his declining years, and replace him with Painter (or Abel or McGarry). That being said, the Phillies would be in their prime with Nola. Y Painter, apart from his main players, are all in their prime (Turner, Bryce Harper, JT Realmuto, etc.). Retaining Nola would put Philadelphia in the best position to win a championship with this group.

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