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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Twins Agree To Terms With Ricky Nolasco

Everyone’s so agreeable lately!  ‘Tis the season, I suppose.

The Twins have agreed to terms with right-hander Ricky Nolasco, according to Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish (Twitter link)... Nolasco split the 2013 season between the Marlins and Dodgers, totaling a 3.70 ERA with 7.4 K/9, 2.1 BB/9 and a 43 percent ground-ball rate. The soon-to-be 31-year-old was one of the earliest players to be moved this July… terms of the deal haven’t surfaced at this time

The District Attorney Posted: November 27, 2013 at 07:08 PM | 31 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: free agents, ricky nolasco, transactions, twins

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   1. The District Attorney Posted: November 27, 2013 at 11:55 PM (#4607107)
Terms have now surfaced:
Nolasco's deal is a four-year, $49MM pact with an option for 2018, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter). He'll get $12MM a year from 2014-2017 with a $1MM buyout on his option. The club option for 2018 worth $13MM. It can vest and turn into a player option based on innings pitched in 2016-17 (link).
   2. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: November 28, 2013 at 12:29 AM (#4607122)
So the rotation is Nolasco, Correia, Deduno, Gibson and Meyer? I guess they still have Diamond, Albers and Worley, although I'm not sure if they're healthy. This still seems terrible.
   3. Greg K Posted: November 28, 2013 at 12:29 AM (#4607123)
That seems like a pretty reasonable price for league average-ish pitching.

I guess it's all a matter of whether you think Nolasco is likely to reach that bar.
   4. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: November 28, 2013 at 12:36 AM (#4607125)
Holy crap! Nolasco certainly dropped his contract demands quickly. I'm not surprised that this is the best offer he got (ok, I did expect somebody to overpay a bit more) but I'm surprised he accepted so early in the offseason.
   5. Davo Dozier Posted: November 28, 2013 at 12:37 AM (#4607126)
Oh, this is great news! I fully expected that all this talk of the Twins being ready to spend money on free agent pitchers was just lip service; glad to hear it's not!

Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes were my two favorite targets for the Twins this off-season--I thought they were the best fits in terms of age and expected contract. I can see Nolasco doing very well here.

This gives us the incredibly sad rotation of:

1. Ricky Nolasco
2. Kevin Correia
3. Samuel Deduno?
4. Kyle Gibson?
5. Corpse of Vance Worley???

so there's still a way to go.
   6. PreservedFish Posted: November 28, 2013 at 12:39 AM (#4607129)
Nolasco looks like he has a touch of Glendon Rusch to him. BABIP usually over .300. Thus if you look at fWAR Nolasco is a terrific pitcher and the contract is an absolute steal. I have no idea to what extent the Fangraphs FIP numbers reflect his actual ability.
   7. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 28, 2013 at 12:48 AM (#4607134)
This makes no sense to me, because IIRC Nolasco's fastball is over 90. What happened to the Twins I knew?
   8. PreservedFish Posted: November 28, 2013 at 12:53 AM (#4607148)
At least he doesn't walk anyone.
   9. steagles Posted: November 28, 2013 at 12:58 AM (#4607151)
This makes no sense to me, because IIRC Nolasco's fastball is over 90. What happened to the Twins I knew?
barely. he sits 86-91, so all you need to do is a project a little bit and he'll be right in the twins wheelhouse.
   10. DL from MN Posted: November 28, 2013 at 10:04 AM (#4607203)
Twins are still planning on adding one more pitcher. The 5th spot will be an open competition. They're working their way up from "awful" to "below average" but won't go beyond that if Meyer and Gibson don't develop.
   11. Moloka'i Three-Finger Brown (Declino DeShields) Posted: November 28, 2013 at 10:11 AM (#4607204)
I don't care who gets the "first" on these thing usually, but it does strike me as fairly amazing that a HS senior can do it.
   12. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 28, 2013 at 12:33 PM (#4607234)
Good deal. I thought deals would enter crazy territory this winter with the new TV deal but most all of the deals have benn sensible thus far. But it's still early.
   13. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: November 28, 2013 at 12:38 PM (#4607235)
He seems to have a pretty big platoon split...partly because his HR/FB vs lefties is almost 12%, but weirdly because lefties bunt for hits 36% of the time against him. What's his problem? Does he get faked out when lefties bunt against him but not righties?
   14. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: November 28, 2013 at 01:52 PM (#4607255)
I get the money is going to be bigger with the way the finances have evolved but Nolasco is not a pitcher I would give four years too.
   15. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 28, 2013 at 03:09 PM (#4607267)
The Twins new ACE!

OK, I am happy and it is an improvement, but as said above much more needs to be done.
   16. spycake Posted: November 28, 2013 at 04:07 PM (#4607276)
Nolasco seems like a pretty extreme ERA vs FIP guy (and by extension, bWAR vs fWAR). After 2008 (which both systems say was quite good, 4 WAR territory), he's averaging 1.3 bWAR vs. 3 fWAR per season. Actually below-average starter ERA+ for 4 straight seasons until last year.

Whatever has been holding back his performance, I'm not sure I trust the Twins to correct it, although if he stays durable and near-average this isn't a bad deal. Maybe Target Field can help lower his HR/FB vs. LHB a bit, but he's still a groundball pitcher, right?

Still, biggest outside FA contract in Twins history. And biggest contract given out by Terry Ryan ever (although he gave a few extensions back in the day just under $40 mil, which could top this with inflation).

Padres and Pirates are now the two clear "leaders" in this category -- I believe Orlando Hudson (2/10) and Russell Martin (2/17) are their two largest total value outside FA contracts, respectively.
   17. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: November 28, 2013 at 05:30 PM (#4607291)
On contract length, worth noting it goes through age 35. GMs really seem to have adopted that as a shorthand cutoff for pricey contracts, to the extent that they may be willing to throw in a fourth year (or for McCann, 6th yr option) so long as they don't go beyond that cutoff.
   18. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: November 28, 2013 at 05:46 PM (#4607299)
wait for it.....

The final piece!
   19. Walt Davis Posted: November 28, 2013 at 07:37 PM (#4607321)
On contract length, worth noting it goes through age 35. GMs really seem to have adopted that as a shorthand cutoff for pricey contracts, to the extent that they may be willing to throw in a fourth year (or for McCann, 6th yr option) so long as they don't go beyond that cutoff.

The magic number is 36 ... it's 35 for Cs. Pitchers ... I don't think there is a magic number.

A little less than Edwin Jackson. Jackson had been better in ERA+ terms prior to the contract and a higher K rate but reasonable comps. Another interesting comp of the moment is Vargas. Not a lot to choose from between those two guys so I suppose I'd rather have Vargas at 4/$32. (I'd rather have neither for a 4-year contract)

I wasn't expecting this out of a team like the Twins. First, I figured Nolasco was headed to a contender or semi-contender looking to reliably nail down a 4/5 starter spot; second I don't quite get why teams where the Twins are invest good money in clear mediocrity (at best). It's one thing when the Cubs do it because they've got a ton of revenue. You just got out from under the Morneau contract and this is how you spend the money?
   20. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 28, 2013 at 11:32 PM (#4607344)
You just got out from under the Morneau contract and this is how you spend the money?


Have you seen the Twins rotation? Something had to be done. Money had to be spent.
   21. Walt Davis Posted: November 28, 2013 at 11:52 PM (#4607351)
Have you seen the Twins rotation?

I know everything is one the internet but this is not one of my fetishes ... so no.

I'm sure it was horrible but it's not clear Nolasco solves that problem much at all or solves it better than Vargas or a probably even cheaper Feldman or I wonder what Colon is gonna go for. From 2010-12, Nolasco's ERA+ was 88 which, yes, better than the Twins 2013 but not a huge step forward. And it's not like there's a shortage of problems -- their SSs put up a 614 OPS ... which was only 20 points worse than their DHs. The highest OPS among the three OF spots was 702. The team Rbat was -52 and that's with Mauer's +26 ... yikes, the other 8 positions averaged nearly -10.

Not that I pretend to have any real suggestions for the Twins nor do I care how they spend their money.

OK, I looked up the splits ... holy crap, how can you possibly put together a rotation in 2013 that strikes out fewer than 5/9.

   22. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 29, 2013 at 12:05 AM (#4607355)
I'm sure it was horrible


Yes it was. They need several pitchers. They have some position players coming up, but the pitching is thin on the farm and worse in Minneapolis. So if this is the end of pitchers then fail, but it is a step.
   23. Gamingboy Posted: November 29, 2013 at 12:21 AM (#4607358)
They also apparently are in on Phil Hughes, who, to be fair, would probably do better in Target Field than DISGRACEFUL Yankee Stadium.
   24. bobm Posted: November 29, 2013 at 12:22 AM (#4607359)
OK, I looked up the splits ... holy crap, how can you possibly put together a rotation in 2013 that strikes out fewer than 5/9.

 For single team seasons, For 2013, as Starter (within Pitching Role), sorted by greatest Strikeouts per 9 IP for this split

                                         
       SO/9  ERA     IP SO/BB tOPS+ sOPS+
DET   8.630 3.44 1023.0  3.47    96    85
CLE   8.556 3.92  924.2  2.64   103    98
TEX   8.142 3.99  971.2  2.76   108   100
PIT   7.871 3.50  925.0  2.38   105    85
SFG   7.754 4.37  946.0  2.45   103    99
LAD   7.731 3.13  979.0  3.07   100    85
WSN   7.603 3.60  968.1  3.31   100    88
BOS   7.591 3.84  984.0  2.36   100    95
NYM   7.583 3.68  969.2  2.92    99    94
CHW   7.556 3.99  982.2  2.75   102   103
TBR   7.393 3.81  965.1  2.75   106    94
ATL   7.393 3.51  989.2  3.20   108    92
STL   7.369 3.42  984.1  2.66   101    88
CIN   7.239 3.43 1003.1  3.15   103    90
PHI   7.206 4.41  961.2  2.76   100   106
SEA   7.144 4.18  960.0  3.00   101   103
CHC   7.078 3.97  974.0  2.32    97    95
NYY   7.008 4.08  969.2  2.78   102   103
TOR   6.985 4.81  899.1  2.31   110   116
OAK   6.930 3.72  976.2  2.74   102    89
LAA   6.862 4.30  964.0  2.32   105   108
BAL   6.796 4.57  939.0  2.24   107   113
       SO/9  ERA     IP SO/BB tOPS+ sOPS+
SDP   6.786 4.30  936.1  2.05   105   104
MIA   6.769 3.87  944.0  2.19   104    98
ARI   6.683 4.13  976.1  2.45   104   105
HOU   6.616 4.72  906.0  1.83    97   114
MIL   6.613 4.20  918.2  2.34   106   102
KCR   6.540 3.87  986.2  2.32   109   101
COL   6.032 4.57  880.1  1.83   103   114
MIN   4.929 5.26  871.0  1.75   114   127


   25. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 29, 2013 at 11:29 AM (#4607411)
I wasn't expecting this out of a team like the Twins. First, I figured Nolasco was headed to a contender or semi-contender looking to reliably nail down a 4/5 starter spot; second I don't quite get why teams where the Twins are invest good money in clear mediocrity (at best). It's one thing when the Cubs do it because they've got a ton of revenue. You just got out from under the Morneau contract and this is how you spend the money?


What are they going to spend the money on? Top free agents probably won't go there unless the Twins way overpay. The only players under contract for 2015 are Joe Mauer and Glen Perkins. Nolasco is a guy that consistently has a good FIP. Now maybe he's just one of those guys that always underperforms his FIP, but I think he's a gamble worth taking. Twins ownership is committed to increasing payroll, so it makes sense to spend money to get mediocre so by the time that Sano and Buxton are ready, there's a decent team in place for them to take you to the next level.
   26. McCoy Posted: November 29, 2013 at 11:35 AM (#4607413)
Somebody tell that to Theo Epstein.
   27. RJ in TO Posted: November 29, 2013 at 12:54 PM (#4607443)
They also apparently are in on Phil Hughes, who, to be fair, would probably do better in Target Field than DISGRACEFUL Yankee Stadium.

Honestly, this would probably be a nice signing for them. For his career, he's given up a line of .274/.328/.479 at home, compared to a much, much nicer .245/.306/.384 on the road.
   28. Russ Posted: November 29, 2013 at 02:52 PM (#4607496)
For single team seasons, For 2013, as Starter (within Pitching Role), sorted by greatest Strikeouts per 9 IP for this split


God, the Pirates rotation was awesome last year.
   29. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: November 29, 2013 at 04:18 PM (#4607534)
Somebody tell that to Theo Epstein.

You skipped over the first part:
What are they going to spend the money on? Top free agents probably won't go there unless the Twins way overpay.
   30. Davo Dozier Posted: November 29, 2013 at 04:42 PM (#4607544)
They also apparently are in on Phil Hughes, who, to be fair, would probably do better in Target Field than DISGRACEFUL Yankee Stadium.

This is pretty perfect.

I do an "Offseason Plan" for the Twins each year (a la Dave Cameron), and the two free agent pitchers I had them signing were Phil Hughes and Scott Feldman.

Since I think Nolasco is an even better bet than Feldman... I'd be thrilled if this came true!
   31. smileyy Posted: November 29, 2013 at 05:49 PM (#4607574)
Ricky Spanish!

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