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BREAKING NEWS: Aaron Nola and the Phillies have reached a 7-year, $172 million agreement.

Aaron Nola and the Phillies have reached a 7-year, $172 million agreement.

By Ken Rosenthal, Matt Gelb, Tim Britton and Eno Sarris

The Philadelphia Phillies and starting pitcher Aaron Nola have agreed to a seven-year contract, president of baseball operations David Dombrowski announced Sunday. The deal is worth $172 million, a major-league source said. Here’s what you need to know:

Phillies lock up their homegrown starter

Plenty of labels have applied to Nola over the years in Philadelphia — homegrown ace, inconsistent in September, durable workhorse, solid No. 2, then big-game pitcher — but there is no debating this one now.

This contract is not a stunning development. Maybe this was the deal both sides should have done last February when they opened negotiations but stalled. Nola’s camp, according to major-league sources, was seeking more than $200 million at the time. The Phillies were not willing to go beyond six years, per major-league sources. The wide gap prompted Nola to try free agency.

And, in the end, they met in the middle. Nola received the seven-year deal he desired. The Phillies kept the average annual value in a reasonable ballpark.

Now, if Nola spends the duration of the contract with the Phillies, he will break Steve Carlton’s record tenure of 15 years. He will, at the very least, be second in franchise history to Carlton in strikeouts. He might trail only Carlton and Robin Roberts for all-time games started by a Phillies pitcher.

Nola has a chance to leave a legacy as one of the greatest pitchers the franchise has ever known.

That doesn’t preclude this contract from the standard risks. Nola turns 31 in June and has started more games than any pitcher in baseball since 2018. His carrying trait is his durability and too many pitchers see their bodies fail them as they advance in age. The Phillies, with this commitment, believe Nola can age well.

They also understood the market and the club’s current situation. There was no one else who offered the stability that Nola does. Signing any other top pitcher would have required surrendering draft capital and, perhaps, more money. The Atlanta Braves, the Phillies’ chief division rival, had a legitimate interest in signing Nola.

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