Saturday, December 26, 2015

The Curious Case of No One Wanting Ivan Nova

The New York Yankees have been dangling anyone and everyone currently in the organization out on the trade wire this offseason and the team’s GM Brian Cashman has received a few nibbles. You know the names of the men who have been traded thus far so I won’t list them again but three names in particular that Cashman named specifically still remain in pinstripes. Those names are Brett Gardner, Andrew Miller and Ivan Nova. I can understand why some teams may be weary of a 32-year old outfielder who is becoming more and more oft-injured than ever and I can understand teams not wanting to pay the price the Yankees are asking for the reigning Mariano Rivera Award winner but I am pretty baffled why no one has taken the bait yet on Ivan Nova.

Nova turns just 29-years old next month and is under team control on a team friendly deal through the 2015 season. Nova is expected to command about $4.5 million through arbitration according to MLB Trade Rumors, who are generally spot on with their predictions, before hitting free agency and yet no teams have even been linked to the right-hander. Why? Nova was woeful in 2015 but this was his first year removed from Tommy John surgery. Nova had suspect command at times with the Yankees before his Tommy John surgery and they say with the surgery one of the last things to come back is command, well command and velocity, so it’s unclear whether this season can be chalked up to growing pains and a blip on the radar or a sign for the future.

This isn’t the first time New York has dangled Nova out there either, the team also made him available before the July 31st trading deadline and his name was linked to the Cincinnati Reds in a potential Johnny Cueto deal. We all know how that story ends, Nova stayed with the Yankees and Cueto won a ring with the Kansas City Royals, but it’s still puzzling to see why no other teams have shown any interest since.

Nova started the season in late June and finished with a 6-11 record and a 5.07 ERA in 17 starts including a stretch where he finished the season with four straight losses and a 7.20 ERA. Whether he gets traded or not remains to be seen but judging by the interested other teams have in him and judging by the available free agents still left on the board it’s looking less and less likely every single day. 

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)