The big mystery lasted only a handful of minutes.
According to Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish, the Twins have reached agreement on a contract with free agent right-hander Ricky Nolasco. Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports says it’s a four-year, $49 million deal with a club option for the 2018 season, the richest free agent contract in Twins franchise history.
Nolasco, 30, registered a steady 3.70 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 165/46 K/BB ratio in 199 1/3 innings this past season between the Marlins and Dodgers. He doesn’t fit the recent Minnesota starting pitcher profilewhich is a very good thing for Twins fans.
The Twins had a 4.55 staff ERA in 2013, ranking 29th out of the 30 major league teams.
They were the only big league club to finish with fewer than 1,000 total strikeouts.
The Rays have traded right-hander Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, per team announcements on Saturday evening. The Twins will receive minor league shortstop Jermaine Palacios in the deal. Despite previous speculation, recently-DFA’d outfielder Corey Dickerson was not included in the trade.
With Odorizzi, the Twins finally have the front-end starter they’ve been seeking all winter. It’s a bargain deal as well, as the 27-year-old righty is under contract through 2019 and didn’t require the club to part with any of their top-shelf prospects in the trade. Odorizzi will be looking to stage a comeback in 2018 after a dismal performance with the Rays last year, during which he eked out a career-worst 4.14 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 through 143 1/3 innings.
Palacios, 21, ranked no. 27 in the Twins’ system last season. He split his year between Single-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Fort Myers, raking a combined .296/.333/.454 with 13 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 539 plate appearances. He’s expected to continue developing at shortstop, though he’s also seen limited time at second and third base during his four-year career in the minors.