Phillies pick up Aaron Nola’s $18 Million Option, Zach Eflin enters Free Agency

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Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Aaron Nola leaves the game with bases loaded during the fifth inning in Game 4 of baseball’s World Series between the Houston Astros and the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Earlier today, The Phillies made the easiest decision of the young off-season. Per multiple reports, The Phillies have picked up Aaron Nola’s $18,000,000 player option for the 2023 season.

Also, per Jon Heyman, Zach Eflin has declined his $15,000,000 mutual option with the Phillies and has now become a free agent.

Aaron Nola

Nola will remain one of the Phillies’ top two starters for 2023 before potentially hitting the free-agent market at the conclusion of the season.

This was a smart decision by the Phillies, but also a very easy one. Nola ended 2022 with a career-low 3.25 ERA. He signed a four-year extension worth $45M back in 2019, so this move means there’s one more year of stunning pitching before he’ll debate entering free agency at the end of the 2023 campaign.

It would be wise for the Phils to start extension talks long before then and after his incredible 2022 campaign, it’s hard to imagine that they wont. Either way, Aaron Nola has at least one more year in Philadelphia to be enjoyed by all.

Zach Eflin

Eflin, 28, was originally acquired by the Phillies from the Dodgers in the Jimmy Rollins trade. Making his debut in 2016, Eflin had been a member of the Phillies rotation for the better part of five years before transitioning to a bullpen role in 2022 following a knee injury.

Eflin was one of Phillies Manager Rob Thompson’s go-to guys out of the bullpen this Postseason. He was on the mound for the Phillies initial playoff clincher against the Astros, along with closing out both games of the Wild Card Round and game one of the NLDS in Atlanta. Eflin also pitched in both the NLCS agaisnt the San Diego Padres and the World Sereis against the Houston Astros. He has proven that he is able to come into high-leverage situations and get hitters out.

AP Photo/David J. Phillip