Top Long-Term Ivan Nova Replacement Options for the New York Yankees

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Top Long-Term Ivan Nova Replacement Options for the New York Yankees
MIKE CARLSON

Heading into play last weekend, the New York Yankees' starting rotation owned the best strikeout-to-walk ratio in baseball. A major piece of the fantastic start: Ivan Nova's seven-to-zero SO/BB ratio over a two-start span against Baltimore and Boston, respectively.

On Saturday night in Tampa, that ratio and Nova's season were lost to an elbow injury that was diagnosed as a partial tear of the right UCL. On Tuesday, the Yankees announced that an MRI confirmed the original diagnosis, and surgery has been recommended for the 27-year-old starter.

With Nova, the Yankees rotation looked to have the potential for greatness. Alongside CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda, a quintet of star-caliber starters took the hill in succession for the current AL East leaders. Although losing Nova isn't a death nail in New York's quest for October baseball, trouble could soon brew.

Considering Nova's age, excellence (2.78 ERA) in the second half of 2013 and upside, it wasn't crazy to expect 200 quality innings from the homegrown Yankees starter this season. With question marks about Sabathia's velocity, Kuroda's age, Pineda's durability and Tanaka's ability to navigate big league lineups for a full season, the Yankees will need Nova's replacement to pitch better than a nominal No. 5 starter.

Now that Nova's season-long loss is a reality, who will replace the enigmatic, yet talented, righty over the long term?

Here are potential options for Yankees general manager Brian Cashman.

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