Ricky Nolasco: Should Marlins Deal Him Or Keep Him For 2013?
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Tuesday March 5th, 2013
Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer): Follow @BernieOlshansky
The Miami Marlins are in a state of disrepair. 2012 was meant to be their return to contention with the signings of Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, and Heath Bell. A healthy Hanley Ramirez and Giancarlo Stanton were meant to provide power to the lineup that supported the pitching staff anchored by Josh Johnson and Ricky Nolasco.
The excitement of the new-look team combined with the anticipation of the new stadium. Unfortunately, the Marlins had a terrible season and shipped Hanley Ramirez to the Dodgers, and every notable player except Giancarlo Stanton and Ricky Nolasco to the Blue Jays, most notably.
Ricky Nolasco Warming Up:
All of these moves left fans asking, “What’s left?” An honest answer: not much. Stanton and Nolasco are pretty much the only two players left on the Marlins that anyone knows anything about. Stanton has been said to be unhappy, and rightly so. Nolasco is the number one starter for this season, and he provides some value. But, would the Marlins get enough out of Nolasco to make trading him worthwhile? I do not think so. Ricky Nolasco is an average pitcher at best. In his seven-year career, he threw over 200 Innings twice, and only held a sub-four ERA once (3.52 in 2008, in which he pitched 212.1 Innings.
For the most part, Nolasco eats up Innings and is decently reliable. He is a four starter in a decent rotation, and does not look like he will improve much with age. Nolasco is 30 years old, so he should be toward the tail-end of the prime of his career.
In 2011, he posted a 4.67 ERA, and in 2012 a 4.48. If this is the prime of Nolasco’s career, I would not like to see what his numbers will look like on the downside. At this rate, Nolasco will last a few more years. The Marlins might want to keep him around as they acquire and develop more young pitchers. Nolasco can serve as a veteran presence for the youngsters like Jacob Turner, whom the Marlins acquired from the Detroit Tigers as part of the Anibal Sanchez trade.
From a value standpoint, I cannot see the Marlins getting much out of Nolasco. He is signed through the end of this season as part of a 3 YR /$26.5 Million deal. It is almost guaranteed that the Marlins will not be in contention at the trading deadline, so a contending team that is weak in pitching might want to add some depth to its rotation.
A possible destination for Nolasco could be the San Francisco Giants. If Tim Lincecum struggles again, the Giants might not have as much patience with him as they did in 2012 and immediately demote him to the bullpen. If this happens, the Giants will be left with an open spot in their rotation and might be hesitant to bring up an unready prospect in the middle of the season. This is where Nolasco would fit in. He would thrive in the pitchers’ heaven that is AT&T Park. For Nolasco, the Marlins might ask for a low-ranked prospect or future draft picks.
Another team that may benefit from his services later in the year are the Baltimore Orioles. Considering their pitchers don’t have much experience at all, Nolasco would help this club with a solid veteran that may rank as the teams #3 or #4 Starter.
The Marlins are weak at basically every position, so any help would be welcome. As hard as it may sound for the remaining Marlins fans, trading Giancarlo Stanton might yield better results than trading Ricky Nolasco. What a 180 it has been from the start of 2012 to the start of 2013.
(***The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com or their partners***)
Today’s feature was prepared by our Baseball Writer Bernie Olshansky. We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers. You can also follow Bernie on Twitter. Follow @BernieOlshansky
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Posted on March 5, 2013, in MLB Player Profiles, MLB Teams: Articles and Analysis, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged @bernieolshansky, baltimore orioles, baseball, bernie olshansky, blue jays, dodgers, emilio bonifacio, era, giancarlo stanton, giants, hanley ramirez, heath bell, innings, jacob turner, jose reyes, josh johnson, loria, Mark buerhle, marlins, miami, miguel cabrera, mlb, new marlins ballpark, NL east, pitching, ricky nolasco, san francisco giants, tigers, tim lincecum, trades. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.