kept pitcher Ivan Nova with a three year contract worth eight million a year.
The 29 year old Nova was obtained in mid-season from the Yankees,where he had started and relieved and was installed in the Pittsburgh rotation.
With the Yankees,Nova had struggled to a 7-6 (4.90 ERA) record and I was surprised when the Pirates had interest in a soon to be free agent.
Nova seemed to thrive in the Pirates program,which has turned around and revitalized a few careers over the last few seasons in throwing three complete games in eleven Pittsburgh starts with an ERA that barely nudged over three.
Nova,even with the questions surrounding them,easily slots in the third rotation position behind Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon and ahead of Ryan Vogelsong and Chad Kuhl,who are basically placeholders until at least Tyler Glasnow and eventually Nick Kingham can take spots ahead of Vogelsong and Kuhl,neither of which will be confused with Koufax or Gibson any time soon.
As well as Nova pitched in his eleven starts (and he did pitch quite well),eight million plus per year for a pitcher that has not exactly dazzled otherwise since his 2014 Tommy John surgery is one that makes me wonder.
Eight million for a middle of the rotation starter isn't overtly expensive,but the Pirates cannot afford to miss on those types of players-such as they did last season when trading Neil Walker to the Mets for Jon Niese.
I'm betting the Pirates aren't quite done tweaking the rotation yet as I anticipate another attempt to upgrade the mediocre back of the rotation,
Pittsburgh has been rumored to be interested in the White Sox Jose Quintana,who would be a huge leap forward for the staff,but would likely cost a pretty penny in prospects.
A potential Quintana deal would tip the Pirates hand as far if they feel that they can contend or not.
Paying what you would suspect would be two top prospects and a lesser one would make you believe that Neal Huntington thinks that the Pirates can contend.
If they try the bargain route,then they might be looking more towards 2018.
Thinking about a podcast soon,which is way overdue....