• 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. Trevor0333's Avatar
      Trevor0333 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Shane Wahl View Post
      I will refrain from commenting.
      But we are dying to know how you feel about this?

      I am curious, what type of stats would Nolasco need to put up to be considered a fair contract with the terms being now known?
    1. Han Joelo's Avatar
      Han Joelo -
      Cripes! Vargas for $48 or Nolasco for $52? No brainer.

      On another note, there is little greater irony than the difference between the comments on the two main TD headline stories right now. On the one hand you have folks parsing TR's words as to whether he'd sign a free agent and sacrifice a second round pick--implying that he wouldn't. On the other hand accolades for spending some money. I'm sure comments to the effect Nolasco is overpaid will soon ensue.
    1. Brad Swanson's Avatar
      Brad Swanson -
      Quote Originally Posted by Trevor0333 View Post
      But we are dying to know how you feel about this?

      I am curious, what type of stats would Nolasco need to put up to be considered a fair contract with the terms being now known?
      According to Fangraphs, Nolasco has been worth $49.8 million. He was worth $15.2 mil last season. Their numbers aren't perfect, but it's a point of reference.
    1. Sconnie's Avatar
      Sconnie -
      I am very happy. A great step in the right direction, even if Nolasco isn't the "true number one" type.
    1. spycake's Avatar
      spycake -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brad Swanson View Post
      According to Fangraphs, Nolasco has been worth $49.8 million. He was worth $15.2 mil last season. Their numbers aren't perfect, but it's a point of reference.
      Of course, Fangraphs value is based on FIP rather than actual runs allowed, and Nolasco has been a fairly spectacular FIPS underperformer. Fangraphs also thought Mike Pelfrey was worth $10.7 mil last year in only 152 IP.
    1. spycake's Avatar
      spycake -
      Quote Originally Posted by Han Joelo View Post
      Cripes! Vargas for $48 or Nolasco for $52? No brainer.
      Vargas got $32 mil. 4 years, $8 mil per.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      10.8 WAR in 8 seasons. I am not sure $12 million a year is warranted. It would be good to be wrong.
    1. Boom Boom's Avatar
      Boom Boom -
      Quote Originally Posted by Shane Wahl View Post
      10.8 WAR in 8 seasons. I am not sure $12 million a year is warranted. It would be good to be wrong.
      That's the nature of the beast. When you're a price-taker on the free agent market for pitchers like the Twins, you're going to have to overpay some.

      I'm not in love with Nolasco but in more than one way this is a step in the right direction.
    1. Brad Swanson's Avatar
      Brad Swanson -
      Quote Originally Posted by Shane Wahl View Post
      10.8 WAR in 8 seasons. I am not sure $12 million a year is warranted. It would be good to be wrong.
      I'm a big WAR guy, but I still feel WAR doesn't fully appreciate innings pitched. The strange thing is that a pitcher who pitches 200 innings greatly decreases the amount of innings pitched by (typically) below-replacement level sixth and seventh starters.
    1. Kwak's Avatar
      Kwak -
      Maybe, hopefully, Nolasco will permit the Twins to reduce the bullpen to seven pitchers and add a (much needed) position player to the Active Roster.
    1. johnnydakota's Avatar
      johnnydakota -
      Quote Originally Posted by Bark's Lounge View Post
      Wow! I am surprised to say the least.

      Besides the game threads, this is the most positive thread in the History of Twins Daily.

      I definitely could get use to this.
      Just goes to show you if they do positive things , fans respond positivly...
      I for 1 am happy , and surprised at the amount Terry got him for , was a good deal, Now if thats just a start and we get another better starter(a few more clicks on the FB)then this will be a very credible off season
    1. lee_the_twins_fan's Avatar
      lee_the_twins_fan -
      OK, the Twins signed Ricky Nolasco. I think it's a very good signing, but I have a question. The Twins had 39 players on their 40-player roster. With just a few days until the Rule 5 draft, will the Twins drop someone from the roster to draft someone, or will they wait until after Nolasco passes a physical exam? Either way, I figure the team will soon have to drop one or more from the roster. Who will that be?
    1. ashburyjohn's Avatar
      ashburyjohn -
      Like.
    1. twinsfaninsaudi's Avatar
      twinsfaninsaudi -
      Am I the only jerk on here who feels that this move has made us World Series contenders? Am I wrong for feeling that way? Should I feel guilty and ashamed?
    1. DocBauer's Avatar
      DocBauer -
      Ecstatic!

      And not just because the dam is breaking and we have something positive to talk about instead of pure conjecture. Lol

      1: Our rotation is instantly better and deeper, giving us a better, more competitive chance to win nightly/daily. As a side note, it instantly makes one of the best bullpens in MLB better as well, not having to work as hard.

      2: Not a huge modern day stat guy here. I get lost sometimes in WAR and Fip and how it all translates. But to naysayers out there, Nolascos overall stats are not only good, but quite good. Especially when you look at the fact he's played on some pretty lousy teams. He's only 31, in what could and should b his prime years based on stuff, durability, and a sense of what it takes to actually pitch and not throw. And his overall numbers the past 3 seasons show actual improvement.

      3: This also is proof that the Twins are not simply paying lip-service to spending and improving. And don't think for a second that other targeted FA's and their agents aren't paying attention. ( along with having one of the best farm systems around with truly great talent on the cusp of arrival and a terrific ballpark)

      NOW, we can't stop! And I don't think we will. Based on cuts from last year, and the new surplus of income that all teams will enjoy, there is still plenty of money left over to spend without taking the Twins out of any comfort zone.

      We follow this up with Garza, Kazmir, Hughes or even the older Arroyo, (not my favorite just due to longevity) and a vet C like Salt or AJ and I feel soooo good.

      Even a healthy Capuano is not a terrible choice IMO.

      One more of these FA pitchers and a C, possibly a decent INF option who can hit LH, and this offseason is a huge success. Based on different projections I have read, and my own calculations, the Twins have anywhere from $23-25M saved, plus another $13M from the new TV deal money to spend, or roughly $36-38M total spend without actually "raising payroll" out of pocke, so to speak. We still have another $24-26M available.

      More than enough for another of the SP I have listed and we have been linked to, plus Salt or AJ. And with the idea of improving "the product" that is our Twins, JP and TR might be inclined to go a little over that for a Pelfrey or Santana to potentially improve even more.

      And lest we forget, another $16-17M comes off the books next year for more financial flexibility and improvement. Plus great talent flowing up and in.

      One final point, I would be very happy to make one of the mentioned trades for a talented young SP vs another quality FA P signing, but am mostly against it at this point. I would rather invest in another of the mentioned FA SP, and hoarde all our available talent for this year, and possibly revisit trades next off season.
    1. Brandon's Avatar
      Brandon -
      Dougie has a quote from Garza that he isn't concerned that he lost a suitor as he states the Twns still have money to spend.

      Also I am glad that for once we are pillaging talent from other organizations via free agency instead of being other teams farm teams.
    1. SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
      SpiritofVodkaDave -
      Quote Originally Posted by Shane Wahl View Post
      10.8 WAR in 8 seasons. I am not sure $12 million a year is warranted. It would be good to be wrong.
      Very odd that you suddenly come around to WAR all of sudden, when less than 24 hours ago you were completely ignoring it in regards to Pelfrey who you called terrible and "Hendriks could put up equal numbers" even though Pelfrey put up 9.2 WAR over his last 5 full seasons. (including last year)

      Additionally you were telling us all how Doumit could be expected to outproduce Salty overall at catcher, when a quick glance at WAR shows us that in the last year Salty beat Doumit in WAR 3.6 to 0.1, in the last two years: 4.5 to 1.5 and in the last 3 years: 7.1 to 3.4

      I'm not saying WAR is the end all be all stat (never have) but its a little odd you suddenly only respond to this signing, by using WAR as your only rebuttal, when you have done nothing but dismissed it time and time again very recently when it conveniently didn't fit your narrative.
    1. SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
      SpiritofVodkaDave -
      Quote Originally Posted by lee_the_twins_fan View Post
      OK, the Twins signed Ricky Nolasco. I think it's a very good signing, but I have a question. The Twins had 39 players on their 40-player roster. With just a few days until the Rule 5 draft, will the Twins drop someone from the roster to draft someone, or will they wait until after Nolasco passes a physical exam? Either way, I figure the team will soon have to drop one or more from the roster. Who will that be?
      There are about 5 candidates.
    1. SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
      SpiritofVodkaDave -
      Quote Originally Posted by twinsfaninsaudi View Post
      Am I the only jerk on here who feels that this move has made us World Series contenders? Am I wrong for feeling that way? Should I feel guilty and ashamed?
      I mean, if all things break right (counting on Arcia, Pinto, Sano, Meyer and Gibson to come on like gangbusters) I could see it. However, I think it gets us one step closer to respectability, sign another nice top of rotation pitcher and a bat....then I think we are suddenly a dark-horse in 2014.
    1. Reider's Avatar
      Reider -
      It was a wise move by Terry Ryan to sign a bona fide starting pitcher, even if he's not a true ace. However, Ryan needs to sign at least one more quality pitcher. Anything after that would be a bonus (e.g. signing a 3rd pitcher and / or a position player).
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