Aaron Nola wanted to stay with the Philadelphia Phillies.
“I’ve always been a Phillie. It’s the only place we kind of had our eyes set on,” Nola said Monday at Citizens Bank Park, a day after agreeing to a $172 million, seven-year contract. “It’s the most comfortable place for me.”
Nola became the first top-level free agent to reach a deal. The 30-year-old right-hander was drafted seventh overall by Philadelphia in 2014 and has been one of the most durable pitchers since his 2015 big league debut.
“Enjoyable and not enjoyable at the same time,” he said of free agency, “Not really about the money. Being in a place we want to be for the next seven years. That part is more important for me. We wanted to go through and see what it’s about, but ultimately this is the place we wanted to be.”