Sunday, November 17, 2013

Nolasco wants the big bucks

But then again, don't we all?

As Ricky Nolasco hits the free agent market, he let it be known what he thinks he's worth: five years and $80 million.

Yes, really.

Maybe the two-year, $35 million contract that Tim Lincecum signed to remain with the Giants made guys like Nolasco think they can raise the bar even higher.  And you know what?  It might just work.

Let's take a look at Nolasco's 2013 season.  He started off the season making 18 starts with the Marlins, going 5-8 with a 3.85 ERA and 1.22 WHIP.  He was then moved to the Dodgers in early July and went 8-3 with a 3.52 ERA and 1.20 WHIP in 16 starts.

Looking at those numbers, it's safe to say that the trade worked out for the Dodgers, and his numbers improved.  And that would be true, as he was as red hot as a pitcher could be through his first 12 starts.

And then September 14 hit, and Nolasco was absolutely pummeled at home by the Giants, and everything fell apart.  His two starts after that weren't any good either, and his Game 4 start in the NLCS only lasted four ineffective innings against the Cardinals, putting the Dodgers in a 3-1 hole.

So, we've seen the absolute best and worst of Nolasco in a short amount of time.  Obviously he's going to sell his first 12 starts to prospective teams, as well as the innings he eats, as he's hovered around 190-200 the last three years.  For teams hard pressed to find quality starters, that's tough to ignore.

Unless Nolasco is willing to ease his contract demands, there's no way we should expect to see him back in Dodger blue next season.  Keep in mind that Chad Billingsley and Josh Beckett are still lurking, and guys like David Price and Masahiro Tanaka could be sought after.

Teams that are being linked to Nolasco are the Giants, Twins, Padres, and Phillies.  There could always be more, but my guess is more in the two to three year range, not what he currently is asking for.  Even the big money Dodgers have to draw a line at that.

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