The offseason is here, and the New York Yankees have been said to be in pursuit of starting pitching. However, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the team is interested in moving 28 year-old hurler Ivan Nova. Nova made his return from Tommy John surgery back in the summer and failed to impress. Compiling a horrendous 5.07 ERA over 94 innings, Nova looked like a shell of his former self. From 2011-2013, Nova tallied a 37-18 record, with an ERA of 4.00. He also produced a ground ball rate of 50.3 percent, while compiling an average of just about seven strikeouts per nine innings. Prior to that three-year time-frame was Nova’s breakout season in 2011. Finishing the season at 16-4, with a 3.70 ERA, Nova compiled 98 strikeouts over 165.1 innings, en route to a fourth place finish in the AL Rookie of The Year race.
When healthy, Nova can produce with the best of them in baseball. In his 2011 season, he finished 4th in the AL’s win category (16), and 7th in Home Runs allowed per 9 innings (0.708). However, Nova was unable to re-discover his form when returning. As a result, it’s unclear what Nova’s current value is. The recent results on pitchers coming off of Tommy John surgery have been hit-and-miss. Jose Fernandez of the Miami Marlins made a triumphant return, going 6-1 with a 2.92 ERA. On the flip-side, Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Matt Moore made an absolute abomination of a return over the summer, going 3-4 over 12 starts with a 5.43 ERA, before receiving a demotion to Triple-A.
While Nova’s current value is unknown, Sherman does go on to make mention of possible scenarios where the Yankees could get what they are in search of. One of the scenarios that Sherman mentioned is the possibility of packaging Nova together with Brett Gardner for a pitcher with more years of control than Nova. Another option that is brought up by Sherman is the Yankees pairing Nova and Andrew Miller together in a deal. Both Gardner and Miller have been linked to possible moves, with Gardner heading to the “Windy City” and Miller heading down south to Houston. Whether either of these moves materialize remains to be seen.
— Nicholas Tarnowsky (@nicknowsky) November 11, 2015
With the “hot stove” continuing to burn hotter, it will certainly be interesting to see how the Yankees approach the offseason. The team has been linked to Jurickson Profar in their pursuit of a second baseman, and have been rumored to be in pursuit of starting pitching, but have yet to be linked to a name. As the days grow shorter, and the snow begins to fall, Brian Cashman could find himself as one of the more active GMs this offseason.