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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 Willingham’s 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. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Details:

      4 years at $12 million per
      a $13M club option for the 5th with an $1M buyout that vests based on innings pitched the last 2 seasons.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by Thrylos View Post
      Details:

      4 years at $12 million per
      a $13M club option for the 5th with an $1M buyout that vests based on innings pitched the last 2 seasons.
      A 4/$48m deal. Nice. Lower than I expected.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      A 4/$48m deal. Nice. Lower than I expected.
      Yeah.
      that's what the Royals paid for Vargas practically
    1. Trevor0333's Avatar
      Trevor0333 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      A 4/$48m deal. Nice. Lower than I expected.
      That is actually a great deal, much better than I had expected. Very good move TR, now bring us another one like this with Garza.
    1. kirbyelway's Avatar
      kirbyelway -
      Quote Originally Posted by Thrylos View Post
      Details:

      4 years at $12 million per
      a $13M club option for the 5th with an $1M buyout that vests based on innings pitched the last 2 seasons.
      Where did you get this?
    1. Trevor0333's Avatar
      Trevor0333 -
      I like the 2 year vesting option giving a lower buyout over a higher straight buyout option.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Yeah, I think in the Handbook, we predicted 4 years and $52 million, so getting him at 4 years and $49 million (with the 5th year option) is a terrific deal, in my opinion.
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      Quote Originally Posted by Thrylos View Post
      Details:

      4 years at $12 million per
      a $13M club option for the 5th with an $1M buyout that vests based on innings pitched the last 2 seasons.
      that seems pretty low considering what Vargas got. That would seem to imply a preferred destination discount ala josh Johnson and Dan Haren. If true that's great, seems too good to be true for a guy on a multi year deal this early.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by nicksaviking View Post
      that seems pretty low considering what Vargas got. That would seem to imply a preferred destination discount ala josh Johnson and Dan Haren. If true that's great, seems too good to be true for a guy on a multi year deal this early.
      the interesting thing is that it is not a preferred destination. Nolasco is a (San Fernando) Valley guy. His preference was to stay home with the Dodgers.
    1. ScottyB's Avatar
      ScottyB -
      Quote Originally Posted by kirbyelway View Post
      Where did you get this?
      http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2013/1...y-nolasco.html
    1. Bark's Lounge's Avatar
      Bark's Lounge -
      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.
    1. spycake's Avatar
      spycake -
      I agree with the above sentiments -- glad to see TR finally made a move in free agency.

      That said, Nolasco's been a full-time starter for 6 seasons, and has posted a league-average (95) or better starter's ERA+ just twice. Dude has really under-performed his FIP -- according to B-Ref, he hasn't exceeded 1.8 WAR in a season since 2008. Vargas is the same age and has basically had equal or better results the past 4 years.

      Still glad we got him. Hopefully we're still looking and bidding competitively, though. I have a feeling this is it (well, this and Pelfrey).
    1. Fanatic Jack's Avatar
      Fanatic Jack -
      Jeremy,

      You called it. Pretty close on the numbers too. Seth could not agree more EXCITED. And I'm very negative. Question to both of you who's next? I really want Navarro and one more pitcher? Salty does not seem to make sense.
    1. darin617's Avatar
      darin617 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Thrylos View Post
      Yeah.
      that's what the Royals paid for Vargas practically
      If your math is terrible. Vargas 4yr/$32M Nolasco 4yr/$49M. The Twins could add Scott Baker and we would still have some left over money...lol
    1. Jim Crikket's Avatar
      Jim Crikket -
      I wouldn't call it a great deal for the Twins. It's in the range of a fair deal for both sides, IMO. I wouldn't call it overpaying, however, so that alone surprises me and is an encouraging sign. To get this deal, you would imagine the Twins had to convince Nolasco and his agent that this would not be their only significant upgrade to the roster.

      I also wouldn't be surprised if the Twins gave Nolasco very little time to consider the offer. At least I hope this is the approach they're taking... make a strong, competitive bid, but don't give the agent a bunch of time to take that offer out and shop it around for something better. $49 million in guaranteed money would be awfully tough for most players on the FA market not named Cano to walk away from and assume they're certain to do better.
    1. Heimer's Avatar
      Heimer -
      He's dependable but not the # 1 or 2 true starting pitcher or future #1 or two were still seeking. Either way it's a good statement signing by TR and the FO. And there's still plenty of time.
    1. grumpyrob's Avatar
      grumpyrob -
      Well, here is to TR (as I raise my crow getting ready to eat it since my projected FA pitcher signing was going to be Pelfrey)....surprised me. But lets see where this stops. Hopefully another pitcher, would like to see Garza, but I am sure he wants to much for us, and we will most likely go with Arroyo.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      I will refrain from commenting.
    1. AllhopeisgoneMNTWINS's Avatar
      AllhopeisgoneMNTWINS -
      Im shocked at how low we got him and TR actually made a move.
    1. drivlikejehu's Avatar
      drivlikejehu -
      Definitely a good move. It won't be hard for him to earn the contract if he mostly stays healthy.

      One pitcher certainly doesn't fix an entire rotation, of course (not that getting all the way there is even possible in one off-season). Hopefully we will see another couple moves, in free agency or via trade, to field a rotation potentially close to average.
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