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.
The Cincinnati Reds have signed outfielder Nicholas Castellanos to a multi-year deal. That’s the report from C. Trent Rosecrans and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Jon Morosi of MLB.com was the first to report the Reds as frontrunners. The deal is pending a physical. UPDATE: The deal is four years. Financial terms have yet to be reported.
With Castellanos in the fold the Reds are going to have a lot of outfielders when they hit Goodyear, Arizona in a couple of weeks, with newcomer Shogo Akiyama, Jesse Winkler, Nick Senzel, Aristides Aquino, Travis Jankowski, Scott Schebler, and Rule 5 draftee Mark Payton already on the roster. Senzel was an infielder before last year, of course, so he could move back to the dirt, perhaps taking over short from Freddy Galvis, who could be dealt. Alternatively, the Reds could trade from their newfound outfield surplus.
Castellanos, however, will have left field to himself. While he’s shaky at best with the glove, he had a breakout year at the plate in 2019, hitting .289/.337/.525 overall (OPS+ 121), but slugging at a blistering .321/.356/.646 pace (OPS+ 151) after being traded from the Tigers to the Cubs. In Chicago — rescued from cavernous Comerica Park — his big doubles power turned into big homer power.
Now that he’ll be playing in hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark one can only imagine the damage he’d do.