The Minnesota Twins have agreed to terms with free-agent pitcher Ricky Nolasco, the team has confirmed:
Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports provides the financial details:
Ricky Nolasco's deal with Twins is four years, $49M guaranteed with a 2018 option. Gets $12M a year in 2014-17 with $1M buyout on option.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 28, 2013
Nolasco's option is a club option for 2018 worth $13M. It can vest and turn into a player option based on innings pitched in 2016-17.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 28, 2013
The Twins and Nolasco have been linked for a couple of weeks now, per Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Minnesota desperately needed some pitching help after finishing 2013 ranked 30th in MLB team ERA among starters (5.26). With a rotation that didn't feature a single 10-game winner this past season, Nolasco could step right in and be the ace.
Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press provides these quotes from Terry Reed:
Terry Ryan : "this is a good day for the Twins. Ricky was one of the guys we pinpointed."— Mike Berardino (@MikeBerardino) December 3, 2013
TR: "We are not done with this free agent issue."— Mike Berardino (@MikeBerardino) December 3, 2013
Berardino also passes along these quotes form Nolasco:
Nolasco calls it "a no brainer, an easy decision to sign here"— Mike Berardino (@MikeBerardino) December 3, 2013
Nolasco on his deal: "As a kid you don't think about playing in the big leagues. Don't think about the money. All kind of surreal."— Mike Berardino (@MikeBerardino) December 3, 2013
Nolasco started the 2013 season with the Miami Marlins but was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in July, serving as a major force in the rotation during the Dodgers' playoff push.
Is Nolasco a good fit for Minnesota?
He went 8-1 with a 2.07 ERA in his first dozen starts with Los Angeles, but posted a 12.75 ERA and .393 opponents' batting average in the final three starts of the regular season. Still, he finished the year with a 13-11 mark, 3.70 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 7.4 K/9 rate, and now has an 89-75 record and 4.37 ERA during his eight-year MLB career.
No financial figures have emerged about the deal yet, but you have to assume the Twins paid a pretty penny to sign Nolasco, who was reportedly seeking a five-year, $80 million contract this offseason.
It's hard to make a case that he's worth $16 million annually, but the Twins needed an innings-eater and they got one in Nolasco, who has averaged 192 innings pitched in each of the past six seasons.