By Sam Bush

The Phillies and ace pitcher Aaron Nola have avoided arbitration and today agreed to a four-year, $45 million contract extension

The extension buys out the 25-year-old Nola’s three years of salary arbitration eligibility, plus his first free-agent year.

The contract includes a club option for a fifth season, which could keep Nola in a Phillies uniform through 2023.

Nola will be 30 before he is eligible to hit free agency, if the Phillies pick up the club option.

ESPN reports that Nola will make $4 million this season, with a $2 million signing bonus. He will make $8 million in 2020, $11.75 million in ’21 and $15 million in ’22. The ’23 club option is worth $16 million, with a $4.25 million buyout.

Nola went 17-6 with a 2.37 ERA in 33 starts last season, finishing third for the National League Cy Young Award. He ranked second in the NL in ERA, opponents’ OPS (.570) and barrels per plate appearance (3.0 percent); third in innings (212 1/3) and wOBA (.251); fourth in wins and FIP (2.97); fifth in strikeouts (224) and opponents’ batting average (.197); sixth in average exit velocity (85.9) and eighth in hard-hit percentage (31.0 percent).

The Phillies and Nola had been scheduled to attend an arbitration hearing tomorrow.

He had been seeking $6.75 million. The team had offered $4.5 million.

The Phillies have not been to an arbitration hearing since they lost to Ryan Howard in 2008.

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