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Nola, Phillies might be heading to arbitration

Philadelphia agrees on 1-year deals with 8 eligible players
Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Aaron Nola (27) throws in the first inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves, Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Laurence Kesterson) (Laurence Kesterson/AP)
January 11, 2019

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies could be headed to their first salary arbitration hearing since Ryan Howard in 2008.The Phils and ace Aaron Nola could not reach an agreement on a 2019 contract before Friday's deadline at 1 p.m. ET. The club offered $4.5 million, according to a baseball source. Nola

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies could be headed to their first salary arbitration hearing since Ryan Howard in 2008.
The Phils and ace Aaron Nola could not reach an agreement on a 2019 contract before Friday's deadline at 1 p.m. ET. The club offered $4.5 million, according to a baseball source. Nola requested $6.75 million. It is a wide difference in valuation.
The Phillies might be looking at the fact that only one first-time arbitration starter has been paid more than Dontrelle Willis' $4.35 million in 2006 and David Price's $4.35 million in '12: Dallas Keuchel's $7.25 million in '16, when he won the American League Cy Young Award. But Nola, who finished third in National League Cy Young Award voting last season, could be looking to raise the floor on a figure that has barely budged in 15 years.
It is unclear if the Phils and Nola can reach an agreement before a hearing, but the $2.25 million chasm indicates there is plenty of work to be done. If they cannot reach an agreement, an arbiter will decide between one of the two figures exchanged.
The Phillies could not reach an agreement with Howard in 2008. He won $10 million in his arbitration hearing and a few months later the club won the World Series.
A couple of years later, Howard signed a $125 million contract extension.
Could the Phillies skip the whole process and sign Nola to a multiyear extension? Perhaps, but the Phils are focused on trying to sign Manny Machado or Bryce Harper. The club will meet with Harper in Las Vegas on Saturday.
Philadelphia, however, reached agreements on Friday with eight other arb-eligible players: outfielder Aaron Altherr ($1.35 million), left-handers Jose Alvarez ($1.925 million) and Adam Morgan ($1.1 million), right-handers Jerad Eickhoff ($975,000), Hector Neris ($1.8 million) and Vince Velasquez ($2.249 million), third baseman Maikel Franco ($5.2 million) and second baseman Cesar Hernandez ($7.75 million).

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.