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Twins agree to four-year, $49 million pact with free agent right-hander Ricky Nolasco

Nov 27, 2013, 6:07 PM EDT

ricky nolasco getty Getty Images

The big mystery lasted only a handful of minutes.

According to Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish, the Twins have reached agreement on a contract with free agent right-hander Ricky Nolasco. Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports says it’s a four-year, $49 million deal with a club option for the 2018 season, the richest free agent contract in Twins franchise history.

Nolasco, 30, registered a steady 3.70 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 165/46 K/BB ratio in 199 1/3 innings this past season between the Marlins and Dodgers. He doesn’t fit the recent Minnesota starting pitcher profilewhich is a very good thing for Twins fans.

The Twins had a 4.55 staff ERA in 2013, ranking 29th out of the 30 major league teams.

They were the only big league club to finish with fewer than 1,000 total strikeouts.

  1. normanbrennen - Nov 27, 2013 at 6:22 PM

    Big question is will he conform to the Twins pitch to contact philosophy

  2. tfbuckfutter - Nov 27, 2013 at 6:41 PM

    94 career ERA+
    101 during his “steady” year last year.

    And moving to the AL for the first time in his career.

    I’m going to go ahead and pencil him in as my AL Cy Young candidate.

    • proudlycanadian - Nov 27, 2013 at 8:33 PM


    • dan1111 - Nov 29, 2013 at 3:24 AM

      I will say one thing: maybe the Royals’ signing of Vargas wasn’t that dumb after all. He is a similar caliber pitcher, and they got him for far less.

  3. face21000x - Nov 27, 2013 at 6:57 PM

    He will be mediocre just like the Twins. A match made In Heaven.

    • albertmn - Nov 28, 2013 at 12:23 PM

      Mediocre would be animprovement

  4. brewer3 - Nov 27, 2013 at 7:46 PM

    He could make the All Star game.

  5. brewer3 - Nov 27, 2013 at 7:49 PM

    He could become an All Star with the Twins.

  6. brewer3 - Nov 27, 2013 at 8:02 PM

    Darn! I meant only one of those comments.

  7. defeetrexryan - Nov 27, 2013 at 8:04 PM

    Decent acquisition but he’s only a solid #2 or 3 in the rotation – that ERA will be over 4 in the AL. Until the Twins get a true ace with an ERA of 3 or better, they will continue to suck.

    • paperlions - Nov 27, 2013 at 9:42 PM

      He’s really more like a poor #3, solid #4 in a rotation. For his career, he’s been a below average pitcher, and his ceiling really is “average starter”.

      $12M/year isn’t a bad deal for an average starter that is durable, but he’s more likely to be a below average starter that is durable.

    • moogro - Nov 27, 2013 at 9:45 PM

      You can bet the Twins have peaked on big signings now. They will call him an “ace” for sure, and Minnesotans won’t blink.

    • asimonetti88 - Nov 27, 2013 at 10:51 PM

      He is better than most of what the Twins already have in the rotation, so in that sense it is definitely an upgrade.

  8. aphillieated - Nov 27, 2013 at 8:36 PM

    He’s gonna get rocked in the AL.

  9. NYTolstoy - Nov 27, 2013 at 9:46 PM

    that’s a ridiculous amount for a guy who is a #3 at best, why wouldn’t they just open the bank for a Garcia or Arroyo…Both who are better then Nolasco and have proven to handle the AL. this move is bizarre

  10. tfbuckfutter - Nov 27, 2013 at 9:57 PM

    It’s actually kind of funny to bemoan the state of the market when an average pitcher gets $12m a year….

    But it’s been over a decade since Darren Dreifort inked for $11m a year, and 7 or 8 years since Gil Meche did.

    Point being….how’d those work out?

  11. rmalmstrom - Nov 27, 2013 at 10:44 PM

    Meche had two solid years before Hillman ruined him.

    • tfbuckfutter - Nov 27, 2013 at 10:56 PM

      That is true.

      For 40% of that contract he performed well beyond expectations based on his career line.

      However, they only got 32 starts out of him after those two seasons, so regardless of the source of that, was the contract worth it?

      40% of the contract he was 16 percent better than average.
      20% of the contract (1 years worth of starts spread over 2 season) he was 18 percent worse than average.
      40% of the contract he didn’t play.

      • tfbuckfutter - Nov 27, 2013 at 10:59 PM

        I guess my point is that they essentially paid $27.5m a year for 2 years of Bartolo Colon.

      • dan1111 - Nov 29, 2013 at 2:37 AM

        One thing you forgot to include in the equation: Meche, surprisingly, retired before the 2011 season, leaving $12,400,000 on the table. So it actually end up being a four year, $42,600,000 contract.

  12. flyingvien - Nov 27, 2013 at 10:51 PM

    Hi Ryan

  13. riverace19 - Nov 27, 2013 at 11:30 PM

    God are the Twins idiots. No sympathy for their prolonged suckness

  14. anthonyverna - Nov 28, 2013 at 12:02 AM

    I am in the wrong business.

  15. rwlsports - Nov 28, 2013 at 2:21 AM

    I’d say that this is not such a great deal for nolasco, but a great deal for the twins. How did nolasco fall for this one?

  16. dmo84 - Nov 28, 2013 at 8:06 AM

    So if you combine the salaries of Mauer, Nolasco, and Perkins it would be around $40 million. How much is the rest of the entire team? $20-30 million? They should be trying to acquire at least one more pitcher(Arroyo, Garza) and Saltymacchia $$8-10 per season. But moogro is probably right, the cheap Pohlads will not make anymore large signings. Hope I’m wrong.

  17. markofapro - Nov 28, 2013 at 8:13 AM

    Paperloins- tell me another “isn’t a bad deal for an average pitcher” pitcher in a similar market to the Twins. Just curious who else has a deal like Nolasco’s and is a similar pitcher.

    • paperlions - Nov 28, 2013 at 11:58 AM

      For several years now $10-13M has been the going rate for an average-ish durable starting pitcher. That is what the Cardinal’s gave Lohse years ago, before he improved and similar to what Mil gave him (he was dinged hard because of draft pick compensation). Dempster got $13M/year, Edwin Jackson got $13M/year. Back of the rotation guys like Vargas/Westbrook have been getting 2-4 yr deals of $8-10M per. Injury risk guys are getting $7-13M/year on one or two year deals.

      • dan1111 - Nov 29, 2013 at 2:50 AM

        I am having a hard time seeing how Nolasco is better than Vargas, though. Over the last five years, Vargas has a 95 ERA+ compared to Nolasco’s 90. The BR neutralized stats don’t quite agree, giving Nolasco a slight edge (not sure why they are so far apart, given that they are both adjusting for park and league). But overall, it is hard to see much difference between the two.

      • paperlions - Nov 29, 2013 at 9:09 AM

        ERA+ still gives pitchers credit for defense. Nolasco Ks a lot more hitters, walks fewer hitters, gets more ground balls, and gives up fewer HRs than Vargas. His career Fielding independent metrics are all far better than Vargas. Vargas has just been slightly more lucky on sequencing and has pitched in front of far better defenses.

  18. moenrosanne - Nov 28, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    my best friend’s mom makes $67 an hour on the laptop. She has been fired for eight months but last month her pay check was $17002 just working on the laptop for a few hours. see this ……………….>

    • negaduck - Nov 29, 2013 at 4:48 PM

      pics of best friends mom?

  19. teambringitstrong - Nov 28, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    ROFLMAO- Good luck with that one, Twinkies. LOL

  20. buffalo65 - Nov 28, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    I think he will do well in that pitchers park. Good signing.

  21. markofapro - Nov 28, 2013 at 3:59 PM

    Edwin Jackson and Ryan Dempster are below average pitchers and overpaid. I wish the best for Nolasco but he’s basically the same as them.

    Happy Thanksgiving.

  22. brent4liberty - Nov 28, 2013 at 4:18 PM

    Too bad there isn’t a way to flag spam comments.

  23. brent4liberty - Nov 28, 2013 at 4:20 PM

    I think Nolasco is an improvement over the hodgepodge the Twins had in their rotation last year.

    This likely means we won’t be subjected to the torture of Andrew Albers making a lot of starts…

    • albertmn - Nov 28, 2013 at 10:37 PM

      I can agree with the first part of your comment, but Albers was actually better than most of the other guys that the Twins started last year. Not saying he necessarily has a future, but his results were better than most of the rest of their starters.

      The Twins likely need to sign one more of the starting pitchers (Arroyo, Garza,etc.) to have a shot at even approaching .500 next season.

  24. rayfeathers - Nov 28, 2013 at 4:44 PM

    How will the Dodgers ever survive without Mr. Perfect Beard Nolasco?

  25. albertmn - Nov 28, 2013 at 10:42 PM

    Crazy thing is that this contract is more than twice the dollars the Twins ever spent on a free agent before (Willingham got $21 million). Obviously, this is in regard to signing free agents and not resigning their own guys, as they have spent more on those guys. How does a team get to 2013 and not have ever previously signed a guy for more than $21 million before?

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