I think we all figured that the odds of Ricky Nolasco returning to the Dodgers were just about gone when the team signed Dan Haren a few days ago, and now it’s official: he’s headed to Minnesota for four years and $49 million.
That actually seems like a decent deal for the Twins, really. Back in September, I thought he’d get $60 million over four, and they’re a team that badly needed a reliable starter. Nolasco is no ace, of course, but he’s durable and somewhat above average, which is huge for a club that had a rotation that combined for 4.9 K/9 (!) and gave 60 starts to a group consisting of Pedro Hernandez, Andrew Albers, Kyle Gibson, Vance Worley, P.J. Walters, Cole De Vries, and Liam Hendriks.
I still like Haren’s deal better, but that’s because he fits the specific situation of the Dodgers, which is that they needed a back-end starter with some slight chance of being more than that. The Twins needed someone who they could count on getting 200 good innings from, and that’s what they’re likely to get. (That Nolasco is now probably their best starter is another problem entirely.)
Anyway, we liked Nolasco’s deal when it happened, and in 16 games, plus one more in the playoffs, he proved to be absolutely worth the relatively meager return the Marlins were able to get for him. A deal worth making, and a player worth remembering… as we also quietly are pleased that it was someone else who wanted to sign him.
So long, Ricky.