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  • Minnesota Twins Agree To Deal With Ricky Nolasco

    According to Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com, the Minnesota Twins have reached an agreement with free agent starting pitcher Ricky Nolasco. However, the Twins have not confirmed the deal. If true, the deal is likely to be the largest contract the Twins have ever given to a free agent.

    UPDATE - According to Yahoo's Jeff Passan, it is a four year, $49 million contract, with an option for the fifth year at $13 million (with a $1 million buyout).



    Nolasco will turn 31 years old in the next two weeks and has spend most of his career with the Marlins. He has posted peripheral numbers (such as a 7.4K/9 strikeout rate and a 2.1 BB/9 walk rate) that suggest he should be better than his 4.37 career ERA. In 2013, while pitching with the Marlins and the Dodgers, he recorded a 3.70 ERA over 199.1 innings between the two teams.

    His durability makes him one of the top names on the free agent starting pitching market, a step below Matt Garza, Ubaldo Jimenez and Ervin Santana, but still in line for a average salary in excess of $10 million. The TwinsCentric Offseason Handbook estimated he would receive a 4-year deal of $52 million. That total would more than double the largest deal the Twins have ever made with a free agent, which was Josh Willinghamís 3-year, $21 million deal two years ago. Indeed, Nolasco represents a significant investment for any MLB team. His contract will likely be one of the top five given to any free agent starting pitcher this year.

    For those looking for someone that defies the highly publicized "pitch to contact" philosophy the Twins have embraced, Nolasco would be a step in the right direction. His strikeout rate, while being average for major league baseball, will be at the top of the Twins rotation. And among this group of free agent starters, he was third in overall strikeouts last year, only behind AJ Burnett and Ubaldo Jimenez.

    Finally, the likely length of the contract will mean Nolasco is a Twin until at least 2016 and possibly as long as 2018. He represents a financial commitment to anchor the next wave of Twins prospects to their next competitive team. It's not dissimilar to the 4-year, $36 million contract the Twins gave Brad Radke prior to the 2001 season. In fact, I'll be a little surprised if they don't reference that in relation to this signing when they're ready to talk about it.
    Comments 105 Comments
    1. Paul Pleiss's Avatar
      Paul Pleiss -
      Ricky "Don't call me Ricky Bobby" Nolasco is reportedly NOT a cowboy. As a young child his parents bought him a horse, but but Ricky had "No-Lasso" and his dream of being a wild west legend died then and there. The family later sold the horse to a glue factor.y
    1. Brad Swanson's Avatar
      Brad Swanson -
      I love this signing more for what it symbolizes than who the pitcher is. Nolasco is fine, no doubt, but the Twins bucking their "we don't build through free agency" trend is much more important to me. I would love to see the Twins land one more good starter. Garza would be ideal, but I'd take Kazmir or Arroyo now that Nolasco is (reportedly) in the fold.
    1. Winston Smith's Avatar
      Winston Smith -
      I am shocked! Good start!!!!
    1. beckmt's Avatar
      beckmt -
      A good start, still a little worried by the fact he has not pitched in the American league. He at the current time is still the Twins ace, still hope they sign at least one better pitcher.
    1. JB_Iowa's Avatar
      JB_Iowa -
      Well that's a nice Thanksgiving gift.

      Now I hope that Santa Ryan brings us some Christmas presents, too.
    1. Tibs's Avatar
      Tibs -
      It looks like the deal doesn't exceed 4 years and $52 million according to Chris Cotillo. What does that realistically leave the Twins capable of doing with other free agents? I think getting Garza would be awesome. I'm just wondering if it is realistic in terms of money.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by Tibs View Post
      It looks like the deal doesn't exceed 4 years and $52 million according to Chris Cotillo. What does that realistically leave the Twins capable of doing with other free agents? I think getting Garza would be awesome. I'm just wondering if it is realistic in terms of money.

      If the Twins are willing to spend 52% of their projected 2014 revenues for player payroll, they have about $65 million to spend on free agents this off-season. Way more than realistic to get 2 more good pitchers and a bat or two.
    1. Winston Smith's Avatar
      Winston Smith -
      13 yr they would be around 65m. They can do plenty yet!
    1. h2oface's Avatar
      h2oface -
      I just love it when the pitcher's calling card is.... "He has posted peripheral numbers..... that suggest he should be better than...." (he is). He should be, but isn't. Good enough for the Twins' high standards, especially with Terry Ryan still making the choices and offers. I guess something is better than nothing, and the same old continues.
    1. Jdosen's Avatar
      Jdosen -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brad Swanson View Post
      I love this signing more for what it symbolizes than who the pitcher is. Nolasco is fine, no doubt, but the Twins bucking their "we don't build through free agency" trend is much more important to me. I would love to see the Twins land one more good starter. Garza would be ideal, but I'd take Kazmir or Arroyo now that Nolasco is (reportedly) in the fold.
      This is a point I made as well. Very pleased to see that the wallet is open, and very hopeful that this isn't the last of it.
    1. twinsfaninsaudi's Avatar
      twinsfaninsaudi -
      Oh Rickey, what a pity
      You don't understand
      You take me by the heart
      When you take me by the hand
      Oh Rickey, you're so pretty
      Can't you understand
      It's guys like you Rickey
      Oh what you do Rickey, do Rickey
      Don't break my heart Rickey!
    1. TKGuy's Avatar
      TKGuy -
      I'd flip for Garza also, but could live with Arroyo or Kazmir, along with adding Salty.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      I love this signing, especially if, as Cotillo also tweeted, the contract would be less than the contract that Edwin Jackson signed last year (4/52). If they can grab Kazmir, I'll be thrilled and call it a great offseason.
    1. John Bonnes's Avatar
      John Bonnes -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      I love this signing, especially if, as Cotillo also tweeted, the contract would be less than the contract that Edwin Jackson signed last year (4/52). If they can grab Kazmir, I'll be thrilled and call it a great offseason.
      Unless it's truly obscene, I don't even care about the annual amount. If' it's a four-year deal, I'm likely satisfied.
    1. Westgaard66's Avatar
      Westgaard66 -
      Awesome!

      now, one more legit pitcher and Salty & would be very pleased with the FO's efforts this offseason.
    1. JP3700's Avatar
      JP3700 -
      I don't love Nolasco, but I like the signing. I think it was important to get a reliable, league average pitcher for multiple years. I would have preferred Feldman since he would have cost less years and dollars, but they spent more for the track record of durability which I can appreciate.

      If they do acquire another pitcher, it should be one with upside on a shorter term deal. Sign a Kazmir or Hughes or trade for an Anderson or Hellickson. I think it's important to see what we have in Deduno (if healthy) and Gibson. Meyer and May should see some big league time as well. They also have to be willing to cut bait on guys like Diamond and Worley, and not hold on to them just because they are out of options.

      Re-evaluate the team next off-season and use free agency to continue to complement a young and upcoming team. Plenty of attractive free agents next off-season, no need to go all out in this one when we are so low on the win curve. With money to spend, some improved pitching and the young impact position players coming up, we'll be in good shape to be aggressive in 2015.
    1. MichiganTwins's Avatar
      MichiganTwins -
      Quote Originally Posted by h2oface View Post
      I just love it when the pitcher's calling card is.... "He has posted peripheral numbers..... that suggest he should be better than...." (he is). He should be, but isn't. Good enough for the Twins' high standards, especially with Terry Ryan still making the choices and offers. I guess something is better than nothing, and the same old continues.
      Terry Ryan just spent money.......thats not the same old continuing.
    1. kab21's Avatar
      kab21 -
      The hope is that Nolasco's results catch up to his stuff. If Cotillo is correct and this smaller than EJax's 4/52 then I'm okay with this even if I have been not in favor of signing Nolasco. I know that everyone would like Tanaka or Garza but the first will likely sign for well over 2x of this and the second could get close to 2x.

      Now if the Twins can get some 2011 Javy Vazquez (a good comparable) season out of him. He does have the ability to put together a really nice season especially if/when the Twins OF defense improves.

      The most encouraging thing is that this shows that the Twins aren't just talk this offseason. I would have lost my mind this year if they only shopped in the Capuano/Pelfrey market. Hopefully they aren't done though.
    1. Twins Twerp's Avatar
      Twins Twerp -
      Proud to be a Ryan sympathizer for the first time in awhile #erection
    1. Trevor0333's Avatar
      Trevor0333 -
      If this could be followed up by a Garza signing or Homer Bailey trade with Salty it would be pretty hard to not call it a very successful off season for TR.
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