Yankees avoid arbitration with Ivan Nova for $4.1 million

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Right-hander Ivan Nova and the Yankees have avoided arbitration with a one-year, $4.1 million contract.

Nova returned from Tommy John elbow surgery last season to post an ugly 5.07 ERA in 17 starts, but the Yankees are betting on the 29-year-old returning to the form that saw him throw 475 innings with a 4.00 ERA from 2011-2013.

Nova requested $4.6 million and the Yankees countered at $3.8 million, so they settled just slightly on the team-friendly side of the midpoint. He was paid $3.3 million in each of the past two seasons.

At the moment Nova appears to be sixth on the Yankees’ rotation depth chart, which means he could wind up in a bullpen role, but given the many question marks surrounding various starters odds are he’ll be asked to join the rotation at some point.