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Report: Phillies agree to bring back star P Nola on seven-year deal

Philadelphia Phillies Aaron Nola Aaron Nola - The Canadian Press

PHILADELPHIA — Aaron Nola is returning to the Philadelphia Phillies on a seven-year deal, according to a person familiar with the agreement.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on Sunday on condition of anonymity because the deal is pending a physical. ESPN and others reported the right-hander's contract is worth $172 million.

He’s the first big-name starting pitcher to come off the board among this year’s free agents, a group including Shohei Ohtani, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Blake Snell, Sonny Gray, Jordan Montgomery and Eduardo Rodriguez.

The 30-year-old Nola was a first-round draft pick by the Phillies in 2014, debuted with Philadelphia the next year and has been there his entire career. He's been one of baseball's most durable pitchers — a valuable commodity with the modern stress on big league bullpens. He also has postseason experience.

Nola made at least 32 starts and pitched at least 180 2/3 innings in five of the last six years — the exception was the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.

Nola went 12-9 with a 4.46 ERA in 32 starts with Philadelphia this year, finishing with 202 strikeouts in 193 2/3 innings. He had a 4.63 ERA in 2021 and a 4.78 ERA in 2016 in his only other years in that vicinity. His career mark is 3.72.

Nola helped Philadelphia secure an NL wild card in 2023, and then went 3-1 with a 2.35 ERA in four playoff starts. The Phillies were eliminated by Arizona in the NL Championship Series.

Nola made five postseason starts when Philadelphia made it to the 2022 World Series before losing to Houston. The Baton Rouge, Louisiana, native finished with a 2-2 record and a 4.91 ERA.

The 6-foot-2 Nola played college ball at LSU before he was selected by Philadelphia with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2014 amateur draft. He made his big league debut in July 2015, going 6-2 with a 3.59 ERA in 13 starts for the Phillies.

Nola is 90-71 with a 3.72 ERA in 235 career starts over nine seasons — all with Philadelphia. He has 1,582 strikeouts in 1,422 innings.

He had his best season in 2018, when he went 17-6 with a career-low 2.37 ERA in 33 starts and a career-high 212 1/3 innings.