The Minnesota Twins made their first major acquisition for the upcoming season yesterday by signing free agent right-hander Ricky Nolasco.
Nolasco’s arrival is definitely a good start for a Twins franchise that entered the offseason looking for help in terms of pitching. Last year Minnesota ranked dead last in the majors with a 5.26 ERA, almost 0.4 points worse than the 29th ranked team. He is definitely an upgrade over other options like Sam Deduno, Kevin Correia and Vance Worley.
The Twins need more if they want to vastly improve their rotation, however, as Nolasco is not an ace-caliber pitcher. His numbers weren’t all that impressive last season, and he boasts a 4.37 ERA throughout his career.
The Twins need to continue looking at free agency to improve the rotation. With players like Matt Garza and Bronson Arroyo still available, the Twins could be a much improved unit on Opening Day next year if they continue making moves this winter. Matt Garza in particular will be a solid addition to the staff. He would certainly need a bigger contract than the one given to Nolasco, but he has had success in the AL pitching for the Texas Rangers, where he had a solid second part of the season after arriving from the Chicago Cubs following the trade deadline.
It’s undeniable that Ricky Nolasco is a solid move for the Twins in the upcoming season, but he’s not an ace-caliber hurler. Minnesota needs to continue improving their rotation if they want to have a chance to get back to the playoffs next year.