Aaron Nola is in a weird spot with the Philadelphia Phillies right now. On the one hand, he's trying to help them win a World Series and needs to be laser-focused in October. On the other hand, he's also going to be a free agent next month and is pitching for his next contract.
It's a tough balancing act for sure. For his part, Nola opened up about a possible return to Philadelphia prior to Game 1 of the NLCS on Monday.
Aaron Nola Free Agency
Based on his comments, it sure sounds like Nola is interested in staying with the Phillies beyond this season.
And why not? He's basically grown up with Philadelphia since the team drafted him in the first round out of college back in 2014. He was up in the big leagues a year later at 22, and he's been with the Phillies ever since.
Nola and the the team have been through a lot together during those nine years. He came up at a tough time when Philadelphia was starting to rebuild, so he didn't experience a lot of team success early on. He was a good pitcher on bad teams for a number of years before things finally clicked in 2022, when Nola had one of his best individual seasons and the Phillies made the playoffs for the first time in his career.
Now Philadelphia is back in the NLCS for the second year in a row and has a chance to win it all. Regardless of what happens the rest of the way, the Phillies have built a special team that is ready to compete for championships. It'd be tough for Nola to walk away from that, especially after enduring so many lean years in Philadelphia.
If the Phillies do win the World Series, perhaps Nola would even be willing to take a hometown discount to stay. Dave Dombrowski typically isn't shy about rewarding players who win championships for him (just ask Chris Sale), though, so money probably wouldn't be a major issue anyway unless another team completely blows him away.
But that's all for another day. Right now Nola has a job to do, and that's trying to win a ring.
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