Here’s how confident I was that the Dodgers were going to acquire Ricky Nolasco at some point soon — I pre-wrote a post about it so that I could simply hit “publish” while I was away for the weekend. The streak lives! And then of course, I actually have some downtime at a friend’s place, so I’m able to flesh this out a bit.
Remember, we looked into this at the end of June, and determined that even though Nolasco is far from an ace, he’s not a bad guy to add to your rotation. No, there’s not really anything all that sexy about a #4 starter, and no one’s expecting him to be better than Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, or Hyun-jin Ryu. To be honest, I can’t even really say for sure that he’s going to be better than Stephen Fife, though Fife has had some trouble tonight. But I think we all expect Fife to fall apart at some point, and Chris Capuano can’t really be relied upon upon. Considering the depth at this point is to bring back the zombified Ted Lilly, pretend Matt Palmer is a major league pitcher, or force Zach Lee into a pennant race, getting Nolasco is definitely move worth making.
Of course, all along we worried about the cost, and that’s where this really seems like a win. Going back to Miami are righty minor league pitchers Steve Ames, Angel Sanchez, and Josh Wall, per Jon Heyman and Chris Cotillo, and I have to say I really, really like this idea. We’ve seen Wall, and he’s fine, but he’s 26 with a middle reliever ceiling at best. Sanchez has shown talent but is on his third year in A-ball and probably profiles as a reliever. Ames has gaudy minor league numbers — at least he did until getting to Albuquerque this year — but is 25 and doesn’t have the scouting reports to back up those numbers.
So what Ned Colletti has done here is beef up the pitching depth by adding a starter who immediately becomes one of the team’s best five starters, and he’s given up only three good-but-not-great relief prospects to do it. No Zach Lee, no Ross Stripling, no Zachary Bird, not even a Chris Withrow or a Garrett Gould. The Dodgers also pick up all of Nolasco’s remaining salary for the year — which, who cares — and there were unconfirmed reports that the Dodgers may collect some international signing cap room as well.
If they do, that’s just gravy. Nolasco isn’t great, but he’s an improvement, and the price is minimal. Really, really nicely done by the Dodgers, once this is official.