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The Braves and Dodgers made competitive offers for Aaron Nola – Phillies Nation discloses the amounts

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Phillies general manager Sam Fuld (left) and president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski (right) celebrate Aaron Nola’s new contract.

The winning bid for Aaron Nola in free agency turned out to be seven years and $172 million, with the Philadelphia Phillies celebrating the new contract with their homegrown ace this past Monday.

However, it does appear that two other National League contenders had legitimate interest in Nola, which is perhaps why it didn’t always feel like the 30-year-old righty would return to the Phillies.

According to Scott Lauber of The Philadelphia Inquirer, the division-rival Atlanta Braves opened free agency by offering Nola a six-year/$162 million deal. That offer alone carries a $27 million average annual value, which would have easily been the highest AAV among a Braves team where president of baseball operations Alex Anthopoulos has a reputation for getting homegrown players to take team-friendly extensions.

Lauber notes that this wasn’t a take-it-or-leave-it offer from the Braves, meaning they likely offered even more total money than $162 million. It’s unclear if the Braves — in desperate need of reliable starting pitching — would have gone to a seventh year to sign Nola.

Additionally, Lauber reports that the Dodgers “put a finger on the scale at $165 million.” Whether that was a six or seven-year offer isn’t known, but it hardly seems to be a team just doing their due diligence.

Even coming off of a 100-win season, the Dodgers need to add multiple starting pitchers. Sure, two-time All-Star Walker Buehler will be back after his second career Tommy John surgery forced him to miss the entire 2023 season. But Tony Gonsolin will likely miss the 2024 campaign recovering from Tommy John surgery himself. Future Hall of Famer Clayton Kershaw is a free agent, and while he may very well return to the Dodgers, shoulder surgery will almost certainly prevent him from being ready to begin next season. Julio Urías is a free agent, and after his second domestic violence arrest, his MLB career may be over.

Still, even with at least two other World Series contenders in on him, it appears that Nola and his wife Hunter, expecting their first child, valued the familiarity of Philadelphia when making their decision.

“I’ve always wanted to be a Phillie … I’ve always been a Phillie. This is kind of the only place we had our eyes set on,” Nola said Monday. “It’s the most comfortable place for me. Like I said, everybody in this organization has so good, has been so committed to winning, committed to the players. The relationships that I’ve made, it’s gonna last a lifetime. I feel like it would be hard to get away from those people. And obviously, I’m very grateful to be back.”

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  4. After Re-Signing Aaron Nola, Could Phillies Look To Extend Zack Wheeler?
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