Phillies ace Aaron Nola is in the final year of his contract and has had an up-and-down start to the season. He’s been settling in as of late, though, with a 3-0 record and 3.24 ERA (12 ER in 33 ⅓ innings), including a win and quality start on Tuesday night.
Nola and the Phillies reportedly tabled contract talks until the offseason despite both sides wanting to come to an agreement. The ace was Philadelphia’s first-round pick (seventh overall) in the 2014 MLB Draft and made his major-league debut the following year.
Nola joined Rob Bradford on the Audacy Original Podcast “Baseball Isn’t Boring” over the weekend and talked about his love for the game, saying that he doesn’t play baseball for the money.
“I don’t play for the money. If I played for the money I probably wouldn’t be still playing right now,” Nola said. “I hear so many people say ‘I hate my job.’ Not in baseball.”
The right-handed hurler got a taste of the postseason last year and wants to get back there again. It’s an addicting feeling, Nola said, and you have to think that staying in Philadelphia provides him a great chance to pitch in the playoffs in years to come.
However, Nola is going to be one of the most sought-after pitchers if he hits the open market. Shohei Ohtani is in his own echelon while the likes of Clayton Kershaw, Julio Urias, and Lucas Giolito joining Nola as potential free agents.
Nola could be due for a big payday, which may very well come from the Phillies, but he isn’t worried about that just yet.
“I’m not a guy who plays for that. I play for the love for the game. I enjoy fishing and I enjoy doing other stuff between my starts,” he said. “I enjoy watching other guys’ bullpens and watching them throw and talking with them and hanging out with them…
“I love baseball. I love the process of it. You go through struggles, you learn from it, you teach younger guys because you’ve been in their shoes before and struggled before, and to give them advice if they want advice about how to handle certain things, I like doing that.”
Nola and the Phillies still have a long way to go in this season before revisiting talks in the offseason. Nevertheless, Nola seems to enjoy playing in Philadelphia and the Phillies could use someone like him in their rotation for years to come.
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