The White Sox filled one of their needs during day two of the Winter Meetings. The team acquired right-handed starting pitcher Ivan Nova from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for minor league pitcher Yordi Rosario and international signing bonus pool money. The deal was first reported by Robert Murray and Ken Rosenthal and was made official by the White Sox a short while later.
Last season, Ivan Nova threw a total of 161 innings and went 9-9 in 29 games started. In that span, the 31-year-old owned a 4.19 ERA, 1.280 WHIP, and a 3.26 SO/W ratio as he struck out 114 batters and walked 35. His 1.96 walks per 9 innings was enough for fourth best in the National League. As for the player given up, Yordi Rosario, he is a 19-year old right-handed pitcher who was with the Dominican Summer League team for the past three seasons. The international bonus money appears to be the main intrigue for Pittsburgh.
It is no surprise that the White Sox needed to address their starting pitching in one way or another this offseason. With Michael Kopech out all of 2019 because of his Tommy John surgery and departure of James Shields, the team had two holes in the starting rotation that needed to be filled. With the acquisition of Ivan Nova, the White Sox have found a short-term solution for the upcoming season. Nova has only one year remaining on his current contract, though, and is set to become a free agent at the end of the 2019 season. His main role will to act as a placeholder until the return of Kopech in 2020. Nova will also be called upon to eat innings, despite never throwing more than 187 innings in a season (2017).
Overall, this is a good move by Rick Hahn and a necessary one. However, the team still has one opening in the rotation left, which could be saved for a player that will stick around a little bit longer. As of right now, the rotation for 2019 includes Carlos Rodon, Reynaldo Lopez, Lucas Giolito and Ivan Nova. Fans should be on the lookout for additional moves to fill the other rotation spot as well as the bullpen, and catching positions. Plus, who knows, a much large move involving Bryce Harper or Manny Machado could be on the way.
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