Pirates Re-Sign Ivan Nova, Now What?


On Thursday morning the Pirates re-signed starting pitcher Ivan Nova to a new three-year contract helping to solidify their starting rotation.

Entering the offseason the Pittsburgh Pirates needed to add at least two starting pitchers. At the start of the day on Thursday they had yet to add any starting pitching help. However, this has since changed.

Early Thursday morning news broke that the Pirates had come to an agreement with free agent starting pitcher Ivan Nova. Nova’s contract is for three years and worth 26 million dollars. His contract also included a two million dollar signing bonus.

As you all know the Pirates acquired Ivan Nova at the trade deadline this past August. In 11 starts with the Pirates Nova rejuvenated his career. He averaged 7.24 K/9, 0.42 BB/9, and he allowed just four home runs in 64 2/3 innings pitched.

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Ivan Nova threw a complete game in two of his 11 starts. He finished with a 3.06 ERA, 2.62 FIP, and a 3.13 xFIP. His 2017 Steamer Projections projected Nova to post a 4.11 ERA, 4.03 FIP, and a 2.4 WAR in 172 innings pitched.

So, now that the Pirates have re-signed Ivan Nova, what is next?

My outlook on the Pirate offseason has not changed. At the start of the offseason I said they needed to add two starting pitchers and I still believe this. However, it is nice to now have Ivan Nova to slot behind Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon.

The big name is White Sox left-handed starting pitcher Jose Quintana. Yesterday, it was reported by Buster Olney that the Pirates have “worked hard” to try and acquire the southpaw pitcher.

Today, Ken Rosenthal reported that the Pirates are still in talks with the White Sox about Quintana. Adding Quintana to Cole, Taillon, Nova, and number five starter Chad Kuhl would give the Pirates one of the best starting rotations in the National League. This rotation combined with a strong lineup and solid bullpen would make the Pirates postseason contenders once more.

In my opinion, re-signing Ivan Nova could increase the Pirates chances of trading for Quintana. Now that Neal Huntington knows he will have Ivan Nova for the next three years he could become more likely to trade top pitching prospect Tyler Glasnow in a potential Quintana trade. And, odds are, the White Sox would want Glasnow in a trade for Quintana.

Next: Pirates Remain Engaged With Tyson Ross

Outside of the trade market, the Pirates could always look to free agency for starting pitching help as well. Free agents such as Tyson Ross and Jason Hammel would be strong fits in Pittsburgh. The Pirates still need another starting pitcher, and due to this I expect them to add another one this offseason.

Entering the offseason I felt the Pirates needed to add two starting pitcher and a power arm for the back of the bullpen. Re-signing Ivan Nova addresses one of the starting pitching needs, and, due to signing Daniel Hudson, they have also tackled their need for another bullpen power arm. Now, the Bucs need to add another starting pitcher.

Entering the offseason I was on the fence about re-signing Ivan Nova. I did not want the Pirates to give him more than three years or to give him more than 12 million dollars per season. Well, they were able to get him for three years and less than nine million dollars per season. Therefore, I like this signing.

With the additions of Daniel Hudson and Ivan Nova, the 2017 Pittsburgh Pirates have gotten a lot better the past 72 hours.