Just In: Atlanta Braves offered the Star $27M per year…

Atlanta reportedly offered $27M per year to Aaron Nola before he returned to Philadelphia.

Aaron Nola said Phillies were 'most comfortable' choice - ESPN

A Phillies beat writer, citing a source with knowledge of the offers, gives proof Atlanta’s willing to spend this winter.

As we get through the first 24 hours after the Atlanta Braves struck out on their first big free agency target, Philadelphia Phillies starter Aaron Nola, reports are starting to emerge about exactly how aggressive Atlanta was willing to be to bring in a frontline starter for the rotation.

Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Scott Lauber, citing an unnamed source with knowledge of the negotiations, claims that Nola accepted Philadelphia’s seven year, $172M deal after turning down more money per season from both Atlanta and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The deal that Nola ultimately took, with an average annual value (AAV, used in calculating luxury tax payroll) of $24.6M, was ultimately longer than the reports as to Atlanta and LA’s offers.

Phillies ride familiar formula with Aaron Nola to dispose of Marlins and  set up a rematch with the Braves

Atlanta reportedly made an offer – not their final, Lauber points out – of six years and $162M, an AAV of $27M. Los Angeles made essentially the same offer, increasing the total value to $165M. There’s an unknown third team that reportedly offered more money than Philly, as well.

It’s frustrating to see Atlanta not reel in their top free agent target, but it’s satisfying to see that the Braves are willing to spend. One of the lingering questions as Atlanta entered free agency is what type of annual financial commitment were the Braves willing to extend in their pursuit of a frontline starter. Of all of the current long-term deals signed by Atlanta’s current roster, which there are many, several will meet but none will extend past $22M in any season of their duration.

It was presumed across baseball that the Braves would have needed to exceed that $22M/year figure to bring in a top pitcher, and if these reports are correct, Atlanta’s willing to do so this offseason.

(In Alex Anthopoulos’s defense, Atlanta’s both signed players for more than $22M per season – Josh Donaldson got $23M for the 2019 season on a one year deal – and has offered more than $22M per year – Freddie Freeman reportedly was offered $28M AAV in a five year, $140M deal before he left for the Los Angeles Dodgers.)


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