According to multiple reports, the Tigers and free agent RHP Ivan Nova have come to an agreement on a one-year deal worth $1.5MM. The contract includes $500K in incentives.
Nova, a 33-year-old veteran of the Dominican Republic, has spent the past 10 seasons in the major leagues, spanning across stints with the Yankees, Pirates, and White Sox. The first 7 years of his career were spent with the Yankees, where he posted a 4.41 ERA and 4.40 FIP across 729 innings. In 2016, he was shipped off to Pittsburgh, where he became a staple in the Buccos rotation even improving to a 3.99 ERA and 4.22 FIP thanks to a discovery of his command.
In December of 2018, Nova was sent to the White Sox in exchange for a minor league arm and some nice international bonus cash, therefore ending his term as a uniform starter for the Pirates. With Chicago last season, Nova failed to recommence the short-lived successes that he experienced in Pirate yellow, displaying a 4.72 ERA and 5.16 SIERA. He saw his walk rate jump back up to where it had been previously and neglected to have the strikeout pitch working for him, with only 5.49 K/9.
But aside from his risks, Nova establishes a strong foundation for a lackluster Tigers rotation that could possibly lose its ace in Matthew Boyd soon and doesn’t have a solidified approach for the upcoming season. At such a cheap price, if Nova can bring to the table what he did just a couple of years ago, this could turn out to be a clever signing for Avila and co.
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