Aaron Nola signs 7-year deal But the Phillies and Nola got what they wanted.

Phillies, becoming a free agent for the first time.

Anything could happen at that point. A team could blow away the Phillies with a monstrous offer. The Phillies could try to squeeze him for too much of a home-team discount, leaving him with no choice but to sign elsewhere.

“I wasn’t with Philly anymore, technically, and that was kind of different,” Nola said Monday afternoon, following the announcement that he signed a seven-year, $172 million contract to stay in Philly through 2030. “It was hard that night we lost. I went back home, just thinking about all the memories and stuff, it kind of rolled through my head. Looking at the city, I looked out the window and I was like, ‘Gosh, we might not be here.’ That’s the reality.

Aaron Nola signs 7-year deal But the Phillies and Nola got what they wanted. Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said he “wasn’t confident” they would re-sign Nola, but he always said he was their No. 1 offseason priority. They considered him an elite pitcher. Durable. Reliable. They absolutely love him as a person. They felt they needed him back to give themselves the best chance to win a World Series.

“It was most important that we kept him for ourselves, but I sure wouldn’t have wanted him to go to Atlanta either,” Dombrowski said. “Somebody that’s in your own division. There were other clubs that were interested in him, too. There were a lot of them. We would not look forward to facing a pitcher of his ilk against us by any means.”

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