Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Yankees, Ivan Nova avoid arbitration

The New York Yankees avoided arbitration with right-handed starter Ivan Nova on a one-year non-guaranteed contract according to the club. Nova will earn $3.3 million, exactly the same amount as he was paid in 2014. Nova was one of four Yankees eligible for arbitration.

Nova, who just turned 28, is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery and is expected to be back in late May or early June. He made just four starts in 2014 compiling a messy 8.27 ERA (6.91 FIP).

It’s unsurprising that Nova would get the same contract value. He’s coming off a major surgery and there is no telling how he will perform.

The Yankees of course hope that he is completely healed and will be ready to aid the rotation by the timeframe established. With CC Sabathia, Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda all injury risks, it stands to reason that the squad could need Nova back and pitching to the form he showed in parts of 2013 when he went 9-6 with a 3.10 ERA (3.47 FIP). His performance was good enough to register a career-high 2.5 fWAR.

The Yankees might also encounter concerns with Chris Capuano and Nathan Eovaldi, who are slotted as the fourth and fifth starters for the time being. Neither Capuano or Eovaldi are sure fire performers and if Nova comes back and looks strong he could supplant either pitcher, assuming the top three rotation members are healthy.

The Yankees still have Pineda's, Eovaldi's and David Carpenter’s contracts to resolve before arbitration figures are submitted by both sides Friday. The club will likely strike deals with the players beforehand, and if for some reason they don’t, it’s almost a sure thing that they would come to an agreement before an actual arbitration hearing.

Statistics courtesy of FanGraphs.

Photo courtesy of Keith Allison via Flickr.

Christopher Carelli is a freelance sports writer and sports media strategist. His baseball commentary has also been published on Yahoo Sports, the FanSided network, Sportsideo and linked multiple times on MLB Trade Rumors’ Baseball Blogs Weigh In. He is a member of the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America, the Baseball Bloggers Alliance and the BYB Hub.