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.
Japanese League commissioner Atsushi Saito announced that Japan’s professional baseball season will open on June 19. Teams can being practice games on June 2. There will be no fans. Indeed, the league has not yet even begun to seriously discuss a plan for fans to begin attending games, though that may happen eventually.
The season will begin three months after its originally scheduled opening day of March 20. It will be 120 games long. Teams in each six-team league — the Central League and Pacific League — will play 24 games against each league opponent. There will be no interleague play and no all-star game.
The announcement came in the wake of a national state of emergency being lifted for both Tokyo and the island of Hokkaido. The rest of the country emerged from the state of emergency earlier this month. This will allow the Japanese leagues to follow leagues in South Korea and Taiwan which have been playing for several weeks.
In the United States, Major League Baseball is hoping to resume spring training in mid June before launching a shortened regular season in early July. That plan is contingent on the league and the players’ union coming to an agreement on both financial arrangements and safety protocols for a 2020 season. Negotiations on both are ongoing. Major League Baseball will, reportedly, make a formal proposal about player compensation tomorrow.