Just as I was lamenting about the utter lack of actual transactions this Winter Meetings, the Pirates and White Sox get together on a little trade of at least SOME consequence:
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 11, 2018
As Brett mentioned just after the report, this is a pretty solid move for both sides. The Pirates get to trade from a position of depth – ahead of a season that doesn’t figure to land them among the NL Central favorites, but could theoretically still be competitive – without necessarily ceding any ground. And the White Sox get to pick up a serviceable 31-year-old starter, which they desperately needed, just as they look to turn the corner.
Nova, for what it’s worth, is an impending free agent, slated to make around $9.2M in 2019. It’s fair to wonder if the Pirates wouldn’t have been better off trading Nova for something better at the deadline, but, given the return (see below), this could be the way they save the most money. There was also the risk that Nova gets hurt or is ineffective at the start of the season, so yeah, settling for this deal now at the expense of any upside seems like a wise move:
Pirates to get young pitcher and international slot $ for Nova. Dealt from rotation strength.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 11, 2018
The young pitcher isn’t going to be a top prospect, though the international bonus pool money is always nice to have. It’s also possible the Pirates now re-allocate that $9 million to a free agent spend.
Now if only the Cubs would start moving so that my itch can truly be scratched …