The Phillies cleared up all of their potential salary arbitration cases except one on Friday. The one they were unable to settle is noteworthy and could be headed to a hearing.
The team did not come to an agreement with ace right-hander Aaron Nola, who is eligible for arbitration for the first time. Because they were unable to come to an agreement, the two sides exchanged potential salary figures on Friday night and there is a wide gulf between the proposals.
Nola is seeking a 2019 salary of $6.75 million. The team filed at $4.5 million. The two sides can continue negotiating toward an agreement, but if one cannot be struck, an arbitration panel will decide Nola's salary by picking one figure or the other during a hearing in early February. The two sides can settle any time before a hearing. Given the wide difference between the two submissions, this matter could very well end up at the table.
Nola, 25, made $573,000 in 2018 and finished third in the National League Cy Young voting. His request is not far off the $7.25 million that Dallas Keuchel got from Houston as a first-time arbitration player in 2016. Keuchel won the American League CyYoung Award the year before.
It's not out of the question that Nola and the Phillies could be exploring a long-term extension. Nola is the type of young talent the Phillies would like to lock up. General manager Matt Klentak has been asked about the possibility of a long-term deal for Nola and, as a matter of policy, has steadfastly refused comment on the matter.
The Phils had eight other players eligible for arbitration. All settled before exchanging potential salary figures. Those players are pitcher Hector Neris ($1.8 million), pitcher Jerad Eickhoff ($975,000), pitcher Adam Morgan ($1.1 million), pitcher Vince Velasquez ($2.249 million), pitcher Jose Alvarez ($1.925 million), infielder Maikel Franco ($5.2 million) infielder Cesar Hernandez ($7.75 million) and outfielder Aaron Altherr ($1.35 million).
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