The Pirates continue looking for a starting pitcher, and the rumors are picking up as the deadline approaches. They have been linked to Matt Moore and other Rays starters. Ken Rosenthal reports that they’re also talking with the Yankees about Ivan Nova.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) August 1, 2016
The Rays starters are under control beyond 2016, while Nova would just be a rental. He’s not having a good season, with a 4.90 ERA in 97.1 IP, although his 4.06 xFIP suggests he should be better. He fits the typical Pirates’ reclamation project, with a 54.3% ground ball rate, the ability to get some strikeouts, and a low walk rate. His big issue this year is a high 21.3% HR/FB rate, which is also an issue that many Pirates starters this year have dealt with.
Nova is only a rental, so he might be cheaper than someone like Moore. There’s also the chance the Pirates could pull a J.A. Happ here, immediately turning around a guy who is only a two month rental. Nova is owed the remainder of his $4.1 M salary.
UPDATE 3:59 PM: The Pirates have acquired Nova.
nova traded to pirates
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) August 1, 2016
UPDATE 4:16 PM: It looks like we might not find out about the return in this trade for a bit, as Jonathan Mayo says the deal is for players to be named later.
— Jonathan Mayo (@JonathanMayo) August 1, 2016
UPDATE 4:47 PM: The Pirates have officially announced the move, saying that the Yankees will get two players to be named later. That means it won’t be anyone on the 40-man roster.