Another starting pitcher is off the market, and Pittsburgh Pirates fans have received a very affordable holiday gift from their team. Robert Murray of FanRag Sports is reporting that Ivan Nova has signed a three-year contract with the Pirates, worth $26 million with a $2 million signing bonus.
Nova started his season with the New York Yankees, racking up an 4.90 ERA in 97.1 innings. Yeah, not great. He was traded to the Pirates just before the non-waiver deadline on Aug. 1, and experienced a complete turnaround. In 64.2 innings with the Bucs, Nova had a 3.06 ERA, and gave up just four home runs and three walks.
Three walks in nearly 65 innings is incredible. Nova’s had some ups and downs in his seven-year career (nearly all of which has been spent with the Yankees), including Tommy John surgery in 2014, but he’s absolutely capable of great pitching. His stellar 2013 is proof of that, when he pitched to a 3.10 ERA in nearly 140 innings of work.
Adam Berry, MLB.com’s Pirates beat reporter, had some interesting comments about Nova via Twitter.
At the end of the season, Nova said, "If there's something I can do to stay here, it's what I will do." https://t.co/DHeDv9IVhb
— Adam Berry (@adamdberry) December 22, 2016
Nova only spent a few months with the Pirates after being traded from the Yankees, but it’s clear he felt he’d found a home there. In this piece from Berry, he refers to Nova’s “rave reviews” about the Pirates and their clubhouse, noting how comfortable Nova had been there. That says a lot about the atmosphere in Pittsburgh, especially since Nova had spent all but two months of his seven-year career with the Yankees.
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