The Dodgers don’t want to wait until the trade deadline to bolster their starting rotation, and they completed a deal with the Miami Marlins on Saturday for veteran right-handed pitcher Ricky Nolasco. The Dodgers will send three young pitching prospects to Miami in return. Steven Ames, Angel Sanchez, and Josh Wall will be acquired by the Marlins in return. The Dodgers will also receive international signing bonus slot No. 96 which is worth $196,000. The recent Carlos Marmol-Matt Guerrier trade also included an international bonus signing slot worth $209.700. The Dodgers have refocused their attention on signing international talent under the new ownership regime, and it is apparent by the importance they have placed on the inclusion of these signing bonus slots within these last two trades with Chicago and Miami.
Ricky Nolasco, who has a career record of 81-72 with a 4.44 ERA in his 7 1/2 seasons with Miami, will bring consistency to the backend of the Dodgers starting rotation. The Dodgers lost Josh Beckett to season-ending surgery, Ted Lilly has been on and off the disabled list due to his extreme rustiness, Chad Billingsley had to undergo Tommy John surgery, Chris Capuano has been disabled and inconsistent, and rookie Matt Magill was not ready to slot in on the Major League rotation. Stephen Fife has pitched admirably in the fifth spot, and it is expected for Fife to remain in the rotation while Chris Capuano is transitioned into the bullpen for a long-relief role. Nolasco will most likely be the Dodgers fourth starter after Hyun-jin Ryu.
The 30-year old Southern California native was born in Corona and went to Rialto High School before being drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 4th round of the 2001 draft. Nolasco was traded to the Marlins in 2005 with Sergio Mitre and Renyel Pinto in exchange for former Dodger Juan Pierre. Nolasco’s best season was in 2008 when he went 15-8 with a 3.52 ERA with 186 strikeouts for the then Florida Marlins. Last season the righty went 12-13 with a 4.48 ERA in 31 starts. So far this season Nolasco has made 18 starts for Miami with a record of 5-8 and a 3.85 ERA and 90 strikeouts.
Being from So Cal, Nolasco is excited to be a Dodger:
“I’m definitely excited. It’s L.A., the team that I grew up going to the games as a kid and stuff. It’s kind of surreal now, until I’m actually there. It will take time to sink in, but I’m definitely excited. My whole family couldn’t be happier.”
Nolasco has made two starts at Dodger Stadium. He is 0-1 with a 8.18 ERA with 2 homeruns and 20 hits over 11
innings pitched at Chavez Ravine.
The Marlins will receive three young right-handed arms in return. Josh Wall, 26, appeared in 13 games for the Dodgers this season and last season. He went 1-1 with a 12.08 ERA in 12 2/3 innings pitched for the Dodgers.
Steven Ames, 25, went 2-2 with a 3.67 ERA and 8 saves in 30 games for the AAA-Isotopes this season.
Angel Sanchez, 23, played mostly with the Class-A Great Lakes Loons where he went 2-7 with a 4.88 ERA in 14 starts. He was recently promoted to the Advanced-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes.
Steven Ames and Josh Wall could very well see playing time on the Marlins soon. While Wall had some control problems with the Dodgers during his sporadic call-ups, I think he could be a valuable arm out of the Miami bullpen in the future.
Nolasco is no ace by any means, and he is consistently mediocre yet consistency is what the Dodgers need for their rotation. This deal is a win for the Dodgers since they only gave up marginal prospects in return, and they did receive the international signing bonus money. They will have to pay the remainder of Nolasco’s 2013 salary which is about $5.5 million. He will be a free agent after the conclusion of the season.