The Minnesota Twins are determined to not let the past three miserable seasons become the norm. They now have a huge upgrade to their starting rotation, Minnesota has officially agreed to terms with the powerhouse right-hander Ricky Nolasco on Wednesday.
Nolasco confirmed the agreement via text message to the Pioneer Press on Wednesday evening.
According to a Twins official, the team has been “working on it for a while” with Nolasco and agent Matt Sosnick, with whom the club cut free-agent deals for Josh Willingham and Ryan Doumit two offseasons ago.
According to a “source” with direct knowledge, Nolasco has agreed to a four-year, $49 million deal with a club option for $13 million in 2018.
Nolasco’s annual salary for the next four seasons would be $12 million each year, with the buyout pushing the average annual value to $12.25 million.
The only other player on the Twins roster to make more than Nolasco is first baseman Joe Mauer, at $23 million per season.
Nolasco, 30, is 89-75 with a 4.37 ERA in parts of eight seasons with the Miami Marlins and the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers acquired him from the Marlins in a July trade, and Nolasco went 8-3 with a 3.52 ERA during Los Angeles’ playoff push.
Nolasco also has a healthy 7.4 strikeouts per nine innings, and he’s shown the ability to get out of jams without letting the hitter put the ball in play. These numbers should excite the Twins and their fans, pitching to contact has become a bit of a sore spot because Minnesota has had trouble with the starting staff get bludgeoned while throwing strike after strike right down the middle.
A verified Twitter account called @RNolasco47 had been changed Wednesday afternoon to feature a Twins logo in the avatar. And Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe wrote on his Twitter account @TPlouffe24: “Welcome to the Twins, @RNolasco47. You’re going to love MN.”
The Twins are still discussing a lot of free agents as they attempt to buck the trend that has been the last three years. It has been rumored that Minnesota is in talks with catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia and right-hander Bronson Arroyo, but neither of those players was close to signing with the Twins as of Wednesday afternoon.