The Dodgers have acquired right-handed starter Ricky Nolasco from the Marlins in exchange for three minor league pitchers. L.A. will assume what's left on contract, around $5.5 million, and receive nearly $200,000 in international spending money.
Nolasco, 30, has posted a 4.44 career ERA, with a 3.85 mark in 2013. His walk rate, which dipped below 7 per 9 innings in 2011 and 6 per 9 in 2012 has bounced back to a respectable 7.21 per 9 mark this season. Ricky features good command, walking just 2 batters per 9 innings over his career. He works mainly off his fastball and slider, with the latter being his best pitch.
The three minor league arms the Dodgers gave up all figure to end up as relievers. Fans will recognize Josh Wall as the guy Mattingly left in to die on April 29 in a blowout loss. The only one of the group with major league experience, Wall posted an ERA of 18 in 7 innings this season.
Steve Ames, who is also on the 40 man roster but has not debuted in the majors, pitched 30 games for the Albuquerque Isotopes this season, posting an ERA of 3.67 with 8 saves. A 17th rounder in 2009, the 25 year old Gonzaga alum could make his major league debut this season.
The final pitcher involved in the deal is the enigmatic Angel Sanchez. Signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2010, Angel posted a 2.82 ERA in his first taste of pro ball with the Great Lakes Loons. However, he's struggled with command over the past two seasons, recently attempting to rejoin the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes' rotation from which he was expelled after posting a 6.58 ERA last year. The 23 year old has good fastball velocity and good changeup, but struggles to throw strikes and may end up in the bullpen.
Once again, the Dodgers have also acquired international spending money. The Marlins gave the Dodgers' their 4th round bonus slot, valued at $197,000, which puts the Dodgers back up over $1 million in spending room after acquiring four prospects from Latin America and Europe. Most notably, the club signed Dominican infielder Lucas Tirado for $1 million. The club now has $1,119,600 left to tide them over until next July.
Honestly, I was scared that the Dodgers would overpay for a decent starter. I was even more scared when Ross Stripling's name popped up. But after seeing the details come out, I have only one thing to say: Well done!
The Dodgers acquire a decent enough starter (a #4) for three relief prospects AND they add nearly $200k in international spending money. They traded from a position of strength (hard-throwing relievers) for a position of need (back-end starter), while absorbing his salary and receiving a valuable commodity to boot. This is a very impressive job from a guy who once traded Carlos Santana for Casey Blake.
The Dodgers have now acquired more than $400k in international spending room, giving them just over $2.5 million total for this cycle. They've used more than half of it but still have plenty of money to sign a few more six figure guys and try to find cheap ones, like they did with Rubby de la Rosa and Angel Sanchez.
Overall, I think this deal is a big win for the Dodgers, as they don't part ways with any top prospects, fill a need and add room to bring in more young talent. Kudos, Ned!