The Pittsburgh Pirates agree to re-sign right-handed starting pitcher Ivan Nova on Thursday.
Nova and the Pirates agree to a three-year, $26 million contract with a $2 million signing bonus.
The once promising pitcher had a revival in Pittsburgh during the second half of last season, and he has decided to stay with the team that helped him rediscover his once-exciting potential.
Nova was a wild card on the starting pitcher market this offseason. Outside of Rich Hill, there were not a lot of great options available. Considering his age, many thought that Nova could have a chance of getting a long-term expensive contract due to the cost of starters and the opportunity that he could finally be breaking out.
In fact, MLBTradeRumors.com projected Nova to earn a four-year, $52 million deal. While he fell short by a substantial amount, it is unknown whether he took less money to stay in PIttsburgh rather than signing elsewhere.
Regardless, the Pirates should be happy that Nova decided to stay. Playing in a tough NL Central, he keeps their rotation--projecting to consist of Gerrit Cole, Jameson Taillon, Chad Kuhl and Steven Brault--afloat.
Pittsburgh could still add another starter before the offseason concludes, and they have been connected to the White Sox's Jose Quintana. It remains to be seen whether they will pursure that.
In 2016, the Pirates had one of the worst rotations in the Major Leagues. According to FanGraphs, they posted a 7.1 fWAR collectively, good for 24th of the 30 teams. By ERA, their mark of 4.67 was the 9th-highest.
When they added Nova midseason, the Pirates could not have expected the type of value he would provide.
Since being traded, he was 5-2 with a 3.06 ERA and a 52-3 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 64.2 innings pitched. He posted a 2.62 FIP and a 3.13 xFIP in those 11 starts, and he was worth 1.9 Wins Above Replacement.
On the season as a whole between the Yankees and Pirates, Nova posted a 4.17 ERA and much worse 127-28 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 162 innings. Nova actually lost his starting rotation spot in New York before being dealt.
Other than the Pirates, the Houston Astros were the only team connected to Nova through the offseason.
FanRag Sports' Robert Murray was the first to report the Nova signing.