Early Thursday morning, Robert Murray of FanRag Sports reported that right-handed starter Ivan Nova and the Pittsburgh Pirates had agreed to terms on a three-year, $26 million contract. In addition to a $2 million signing bonus, the deal includes $2 million in performance bonuses each season, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman.
Like A.J. Burnett, J.A. Happ, Edinson Volquez, and so many others, Nova seemingly turned his career around once he put on a Pirates uniform and was introduced to pitching coach Ray Searage. Prior to being traded to Pittsburgh last July, Nova was in the midst of an unspectacular career with the Yankees.
Nova debuted with New York in 2010 and owns a career 4.30 ERA. After posting a 4.90 ERA in 21 games (15 starts) with the Yankees last season, Nova was dealt to the Pirates at the trade deadline. He then went on to post a 3.06 ERA and a 2.62 FIP in 11 starts with Pittsburgh, including three complete games, which doubled his career total. The most remarkable part of his turnaround, however, was his dazzling 52-to-3 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Nova will be 30 years old on Opening Day, and will rejoin a young, talented rotation that includes the likes of ace Gerrit Cole as well as young arms Jameson Taillon, Tyler Glasnow, and Chad Kuhl. Last season, Pittsburgh’s rotation ranked 11th in the National League with a 4.67 ERA, but it should improve significantly with a full season of Nova as well as a healthy season from Cole.