The Tigers announced on Monday the signing of free agent pitcher Iván Nova to a contract. Jon Heyman clarifies that it is a one-year, $1.5 million deal that offers the right-hander the opportunity to earn more via incentives.
Nova, who turned 33 years old yesterday, spent the 2019 season with the White Sox. Across 34 starts spanning 187 innings, he posted a 4.72 ERA with 114 strikeouts and 47 walks. ERA-wise, it was his worst season since 2015. His 14.1 percent strikeout rate was his lowest since 2014 as well.
The rebuilding Tigers are hoping Nova can simply eat innings during this upcoming season, especially considering the number of injury-prone pitchers in their starting rotation.
Per Ronald Blum of the Associated Press, Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association have been discussing the idea of playing the 2020 season entirely in Arizona. The state has 10 spring training parks as well as Chase Field, home to the Diamondbacks. MLB suspended the 2020 season last month as the U.S. began to deal with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
This certainly comes as no surprise as commissioner Rob Manfred has suggested the need to potentially get “creative” if MLB is to have a season. Other ideas have included running the season deep into the fall, hosting games in mostly warm-weather states, and making use of frequent doubleheaders.
For many reasons, the U.S. has not done well to date dealing with the pandemic, so it is quite optimistic to expect sports to return at any point in the near future. That being said, agent Scott Boras, who spoke to Blum, suggested baseball’s return could provide “a necessary product that gives all the people that are isolated enjoyment.” He added that that product would be “inspirational to our country.”
MLB and all of its associated interests stand to lose significant amounts of money the longer the season is delayed, which is why many are champing at the bit for the schedule to resume. Presumably, any resumption of the schedule would require that games not be played in front of fans.