Saturday, July 6, 2013

Dodgers acquire Ricky Nolasco and int'l money from Marlins for Steve Ames, Angel Sanchez and Josh Wall

In what shouldn't be surprising news to anyone at this rate, the Dodgers acquired Ricky Nolasco on Saturday from the Marlins for Steve Ames, Angel Sanchez and Josh Wall.

Ken Rosenthal first reported this afternoon the trade was "close," and that was obviously true.

The Dodgers are paying all of the approximately $5.5 million remaining on Nolasco's contract.

Nolasco is a free agent after the season and a Southern California native, so it's conceivable he could be retained (probably on a 3-year deal, per Ned Colletti's norm).

I wrote for Yahoo! Sports the Dodgers should stay away from him, as there are better options available. Since that time, I've lightened up a bit to the idea of acquiring him, but he'd still not be first on my list.

Also since that time, Nolasco has increased his strikeout rate by nearly one full strikeout per nine innings (from 6.3 to 7.2). That's encouraging. His hits per nine rate isn't great (9.0), but he doesn't walk a lot of hitters (2.0 BB/9).

Nolasco is a rare pitcher these days, boasting a split-finger fastball that he throws 12.7 percent of the time this season. But FanGraphs values it as a negative pitch (-1.2). His best pitch, according to the data, is his slider (8.3). He throws it 24.3 percent of the time.

His fastball sits in the 88-92 MPH range and averages 90.1 MPH this season. He also has a curveball that he relies on.

He's much more of a junk-baller than previously expected.Once a Cubs' top prospect, Nolasco was traded to Florida in December 2005 with Sergio Mitre and Renyel Pinto for old friend Juan Pierre.

The best part of this deal isn't acquiring a decent No. 4 or 5 starter the rest of the season, it's acquiring the international spending money from the Marlins. The Dodgers did this with the Cubs in the Carlos Marmol deal and, since they've already spent $1.4 million of their $2,322,600 limit, this will help immensely. The amount added to the cap is unknown at this time.

Update (6:31 p.m.): The Dodgers acquired the No. 96 slot value, which is $197,000, raising their international spending limit to $2,519,600.

The Dodgers actually did really well with this trade.

Ames was added to the 40-man roster this winter and is strictly a reliever. He has a fastball that sits in the 88-92 MPH range that can touch 94-95 at times. He also has a slider that's allowed him to compile an 11.5 strikeouts per nine innings rate in 207 career minor-league innings. That number is down to 7.6 this season and he's spent some time on the disabled list.

Sanchez was a Top 10 prospect in the system before a disastrous 2012 campaign with the Quakes. He began 2013 with the Great Lakes Loons and was recently promoted to High-A Rancho. Sanchez has a low-90s fastball, a potentially average to solid-average changeup and a slider. He probably won't last in the rotation long.

Wall is a flamethrowing reliever who was drafted as a starter in 2005. He's touched triple-digits in the minors, but his average velocity in the majors is 92.4 MPH. His slider sits in the low-80s and helps him to get strikeouts.

All in all, this is a really good deal for the Dodgers, even if the international spending money is unknown. The Dodgers traded three relievers for a quality back-of-the-rotation starter and some lottery money. Really hard to complain about that.

Photo credit: ScottRAnselmo, Wikimedia Commons

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