Ivan Nova helped the New York Yankees keep their contending hopes alive but what is his trade value if they were to become sellers?
Meet Ivan Nova, a 29-year old right-handed starter that was once an integral part of the last New York Yankees team that won the American League East.
Sure, he appears far from the pitcher that won 16 games with a 3.70 earned run average, but it’s safe to say that Nova is ready to provide a quality arm for a winning ball club.
His latest outing against the AL East-leading Baltimore Orioles – a team that leads all of baseball with 142 home runs – made that latest statement seem legitimate.
Nova shut down Baltimore’s juggernaut offence by pitching six innings of one-run ball on four hits, three walks and four strikeouts.
His ERA dropped from 5.17 to 4.92 and most importantly, he bridged the gap to Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller, and Aroldis Chapman beautifully.
Yes, the Yankees are back at .500 and only five games out of a Wild Card spot. The club has made it clear that if they are within striking distance when the deadline approaches, they will go all in on contending.
However, the upcoming schedule – which is pretty darn tough – tells us that this surge is unlikely to continue which would hint towards a Yankees’ sale.
And after Nova’s stellar start along with his impending free agency following this season, it’s tough to imagine that General MBrian Cashman won’t try to deal him.
Why you ask?
Simply because teams contending for starting pitchers are desperate for quality arms. They may even be desperate enough to trade a promising prospect for a guy who has given up 12 home runs over his last 10 starts.
If you don’t think anyone will trade for a starter in the ruts like Nova just remember that the Minnesota Twins gave Phil Hughes a $58-million dollar contract after a year in which he went 4-14 with a 5.19 ERA after owning a 1.5 HR/9 rate in New York.
One team that could be in the mix for Nova are the Detroit Tigers. Jordan Zimmermann has been exceptional as the ace of the staff with a complementing number two man in Justin Verlander and the surprising Michael Fulmer but beyond that there’s nothing much else to offer.
Anibal Sanchez, Mike Pelfrey and Shane Greene all have ERAs that sit above 4.50 and are in dire need of a back-end starters to help complement a powerful offense that will help them take the American League Central crown.
Other teams that could inquire about Nova are the Baltimore Orioles, Kansas City Royals, and even the Miami Marlins. The bottom line is that despite the last two wins for New York, it’s highly likely they’ll become sellers by August 1.
Nova is in need of a scenery change – just as Hughes was – and it will likely happen following this year anyway, so, we ask again: why not now?